The Board

Our Board members are Māori language exponents, leaders in their respective iwi and area of expertise, and passionate about and committed to the revitalisation of the Māori language.

Te Mātāwai has a board of 13 members who are each appointed for a three-year term, for a maximum of three terms. Seven are selected by and for a kāhui ā-iwi, four represent Te Reo Tukutuku (Māori language organisations) and two are appointed by the Minister for Māori Development. The Board as a collective is responsible for the strategic direction of the organisation, to ensure the operational objectives are implemented and a strong relationship between Te Mātāwai Board and the Pae Motuhake is maintained.

Kāhui ā-Iwi Representatives

Te Reo Tukutuku Representatives

Ministerial Representatives

Kāhui ā-Iwi Representatives

Te Tai Tokerau

Waihoroi Shortland.

Waihoroi Shortland
Ngāti Hine and Te Aupōuri

Waihoroi has more than 30 years’ experience working in Māori-language-related media, film and theatre. He has also worked extensively throughout Te Tai Tokerau in both the public and private sector from the Māori Land Court to working as a Māori Community Officer in Auckland, Pukekohe and Kaitāia. Waihoroi was a Commissioner for Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori and a former member of the Māori Television Service Board. He was an inaugural Board member and Co-chair for Te Mātāwai from 2016 to 2020.


Charlie Tepana.

Charlie (Tīare) Tepana (Co-chair)
Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Raukawa, Rangitāne, Te Uri o Hau, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāti Pākehā, Kōtimana

Tīare was elected by Tainui in 2019 and appointed as Co-chair alongside Reikura Kahi in 2021. He has extensive experience working in the iwi and community Māori language revitalisation space and played a leading role in the development and implementation of the Raukawa Tribal Māori Language Revitalisation Strategy, Whakareia te Kakara o te Hinu Raukawa. Tīare was a member of the 2014 Ministerial Māori Language Advisory Group established to review and make recommendations on the Māori Language Act 1987 which was repealed with the enactment of Te Ture mō te Reo Māori 2016. Before joining Te Mātāwai Board, he was a board member of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.


Dr Te Kahautu Maxwell.

Dr Te Kahautu Maxwell
Te Whakatōhea, Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tai, Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Maniapoto, Tūhoe

Te Kahautu is currently an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies at The University of Waikato. He is an expert in te reo and tikanga Māori and has a strong background in kapa haka. He is the tutor and composer for Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti and is currently the Mātaatua delegate to Te Matatini. Te Kahautu sits on the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board and is a leader of Te Hāhi Ringatū. He was previously on the Mātaatua Pae Motuhake as well as being a former member on Te Waka Toi, the Māori arts board of Creative New Zealand.

Te Arawa

Muriwai Ihākara.

Muriwai Ihākara
Te Arawa, Ngāti Kurī, Ngāti Porou

Muriwai was elected by Te Arawa in 2019. He is an advocate of te reo and tikanga Māori and an active haka pouako and pou-whiriwhiri of kapa haka competitions at a regional and national level. Muriwai has 14 years of executive leadership experience, having served as Te Tumu Whakahaere Māori of Creative New Zealand from 2002 to 2016, and he has board governance experience as a former Chair of Te Kura o Rotoiti, former Chair of the Wellington Māori Cultural Society and member of Te Matatini and through currently being Chair of Te Awhe Marae – Maketu, Chair of Ngāti Pikiao Ahurei, and Chair of Pūkenga Kōeke o Ngāti Pikiao.

Te Tai Rāwhiti

Matai Smith.

Mātai Smith
Rongowhakaata, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa

Mātai served on Te Tai Rāwhiti Pae Motuhake for three years prior to his appointment to the Board in 2019. He has extensive experience working in broadcasting as an award-winning presenter and producer and graced our television screens for more than two decades. Mātai graduated from the first intake of Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo Māori and exhibits an unquestionable commitment to the revitalisation of the Māori language. As the current Station Manager for iwi radio station Tūranga FM, he continues to work tirelessly to ensure the Māori language continues to grow and flourish in Gisborne and Te Tai Rāwhiti. Mātai led the genesis and development of both the Rongowhakaata and Ngāi Tāmanuhiri rautaki reo. He currently sits on the boards of a whānau trust, Te Tira Whakaari and is acting Deputy Chairman for Te Whakaruruhau o Ngā Reo Irirangi Māori.

Te Tai Hau-ā-uru

Karepa Wall.

Karepa Wall

Taranaki, Manukorihi, Ngāti Ruanui, Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Karepa Wall is currently Head of Māori Strategic Relationships for the Wellington City Council and director of Te Kāhui Tūroa, providing cultural services and enabling mana whenua representation across the Wellington region. With a background in education and government, Karepa is passionate about weaving Māori knowledge and systems with modern-day practices. He is committed to providing the best outcomes for his people and future generations. Karepa chairs our Tātari Tūruru (Audit and Risk) Komiti.

Te Waipounamu

Paulette Tamati-Elliffe.

Paulette Tamati-Elliffe
Kāi Tahu, Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Mutunga

Paulette Tamati-Elliffe has over twenty years' active involvement and experience in iwi and community Māori language revitalisation. She is the current Manager, charged with the responsibility of leading the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Tribal Māori language strategy, 'Kotahi Mano Kāika, Kotahi Mano Wawata'. Paulette and her partner, Komene, both graduates of Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo Māori have been leading exemplar whānau within the Kai Tahu takiwā, raising their tamariki in the Māori language as the main intergenerational language spoken in their home. Paulette is also a current member of Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa - The New Zealand Geographic Board, with a deep interest in restoration of traditional Māori place names. Paulette started her first term as a Board member of Te Mātāwai in 2017 and was reappointed for a second term in 2020.

Te Reo Tukutuku Representatives

Te Reo Tukutuku board members represent the interests of four clusters of Māori language organisations:

Education Media Community Urban Interests
  • Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust
  • Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa
  • Ngā Ringa Raupā o ngā Kura-ā-Iwi
  • Te Tauihu o Ngā Wānanga
  • Te Whakaruruhau o ngā Reo Irirangi Māori o Aotearoa
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari
  • Te Rūnanga o Te Ātaarangi Trust
  • Māori Women’s Welfare League Incorporated
  • New Zealand Māori Council
  • National Urban Māori Authority

Te Mātauranga

Brenda Soutar.

Brenda Soutar
Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki

Brenda was appointed to the Board in 2021. She is actively involved in Māori language revitalisation and regeneration with over 30 years’ experience in education across kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa Māori and whare wānanga. Her work includes the application of international theories and practises of language acquisition and revitalisation within Māori language immersion contexts. Before taking up her current role as curriculum advisor for Te Rūnanga Nui o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa, Brenda was principal of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Mana Tamariki.  She brings first-hand experience to the vision that "te reo Māori is restored as a nurturing first language" having raised her own children speaking only Māori to them at home while they were educated entirely in te reo Māori from kōhanga reo through to wharekura.



Kylie Brown
Ngāi Takoto, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Porou

Kylie was appointed as the media representative in 2018. She has extensive experience in Māori radio, Māori television production and communications. Kylie sits on the board of Te Hiku Media, provides technical Māori language advice to the New Zealand National Geographic Board, is an Editor of the dictionary He Pātaka Kupu and was the first Principal Linguist of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.


Dr Teina Boasa-Dean.

Dr Teina Boasa-Dean
Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Teina was appointed to the Board in 2018. She is the Executive Manager of BHW Lands Trust and Education Manager for Pāhauwera Iwi Development Trust. Teina is passionate about the natural world and has given keynote speeches and interviews on what the world can learn about Māori world views and principles to tackle global environmental challenges. Teina is currently Chair/Toihau of our Komiti Rangahau and is part of our Komiti Tautapa.

Te Hunga Noho Tāone

Bernie O'Donnell.

Bernie O’Donnell
Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāi Tahu

Bernie has served on Te Pae Motuhake o Te Reo Tukutuku since its inception and was appointed to the Board in 2021. He is currently the General Manager of Waatea and has extensive experience in Māori radio broadcasting. Bernie is Chairman of Manukau Urban Māori Authority and Auckland District Health Board and holds directorships on several boards, including Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency, UMA Broadcasting Limited and National Urban Māori Authority.


Ministerial Representatives


Reikura Kahi.

Reikura Kahi (Co-chair)
Waikato, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Kuki Airini

Reikura Kahi was elected to the Board in 2019 and appointed as Co-chair alongside Tīare Tepana in 2021. Reikura is among the first generation of kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa and wharekura graduates. She brings a rangatahi perspective and governance experience. She was Chair of Ngā Tūmanako Incorporated Society and had roles on the board of Te Puna Reo o Manawanui and Manawanui Charitable Trust. Reikura is a Māori language consultant and graduate of Te Panekiretanga o te Reo Māori. Her previous roles include Programme Commissioner at Māori Television, assessor for Te Māngai Pāho and company director for Te Wheke Group.


The Board currently has one vacancy – a second Ministerial appointee.