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Ko Mataatua me Nukutere ōna waka

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Ko Hiria Hape ahau

Dr Hiria Hape QSO, is a leading proponent of Te Reo Māori, Mātauranga Māori and Tikanga Māori.  She has a fervent commitment to culture, language and the advancement of equitable outcomes for Māori. Dr Hape has a comprehensive understanding of consultation and accountability between the Crown and Māori and in 2018, she was awarded the Queens Service Order Medal for services to the state. The depth of her Mātauranga Māori and Tikanga Māori contributes to a stronger Māori strategic focus for whānau, hapū and iwi.  In 2017, Dr Hape was interviewed for Waka Huia.  Her interview is available online, which gives some insights into her whānau, hapū, iwi and hāpori and the work she has done to advance Māori kaupapa.

Her governance and leadership style is both practical and future focussed, with an ability to craft the future when managing change in unfamiliar landscapes. Utilising skills of critical research analysis and experiential competence has enabled her to proactively implement Mātauranga Māori and Tikanga Māori across workplaces. On 16 May 2022, Dr Hape was appointed to support Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in its language and Te Reo Māori revitalisation and translation strategy. She also has a long-standing commitment to the development and enhancement of Māori, wāhine, their tāmariki and whānau and in April 2022, Dr Hape was elected the National Vice-President of the Māori Womens Welfare League.

Dr Hape was the Head of School - Iwi Development at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi; board member of Te Mātāwai; Senior Advisor for Māori Relationships at Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry of Māori Development. In that role, she supported the Prime Minister and the Governor-General on tikanga Māori matters. Prior to undertaking her role at Te Puni Kōkiri, she was the Senior Manager of the Māori Cultural Perspective Unit for the Ministry from 2001 until 2004. From 1999 to 2000 she was executive manager of the Tuhoe Education Authority. Dr Hape held the ombudsman role of Te Kaiwawao as part of Massey University Wellington’s Executive Management Group from 1998 to 2001. Before Wellington Polytechnic merged with Massey University, she held the Te Kaiwawao role for the polytechnic from 1996 to 1998. She was Head of the School of Māori Studies at Wellington Polytechnic from 1991 to 1996 and a senior lecturer.  

Dr Hape completed her Masters of Education at Victoria University of Wellington in 1998 and her thesis ‘Māori Learning Styles’ was the first written for the Faculty of Education entirely in te reo Māori. She earned her PhD (Education) from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi (the first PhD written in te reo Māori).  ‘Kauaka e tawhiti mai i tō maunga,’ was the topic of her PHD thesis and has been a guiding light for her throughout her 17 years as an Emissary Cultural Advisor.  

Dr Hiria Hape is a welcome addition to the Te Puna Ora o Mataatua board as she is committed to serving the communities within which she engages and the kaupapa for which she has advocated her whole life.

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