Tumuaki – Chief Executive appointment a boon for Māori wellbeing and prosperity

Headshot of Tumuaki | Chief Executive, Tui Te Hau

Supporting Māori well-being and prosperity has been strengthened with the creation of a Tumuaki position at the Wellington Regional Māori Economic Development Agency.

Established in 2020, Te Matarau works collaboratively with mana whenua, iwi, local and central government and the innovation ecosystem in Whanganui-a-Tara to support the interests of Māori in business, education, community connectivity, te taiao and more.

In March 2024, we announced a step-change in their vision for Māori well-being and prosperity with the appointment of Tui Te Hau (Rongomaiwahine, Te Arawa, Ngāti Tuwharetoa) as the inaugural Tumuaki.

“Having established a compelling economic strategy based on extensive community consultation, we were looking for a Tumuaki to help us realise the aspirations expressed by our communities to be vital contributors to sustainable prosperity and wellbeing in our region,” says Chair Daphne Luke (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine, Rangitāne o Tamaki nui a Rua).
“This position and strategy are always deeply rooted in te ao Māori values and practices.”

Tui’s extensive work experience includes international business, investment, economic development and start-ups. She has a proven track record establishing internationally recognised innovation programmes, including the foundation work on the Lightning Lab, the blueprint for business acceleration in Aotearoa, Mahuki, the world’s first business accelerator for the museum sector, and she recently worked on the inaugural respectful ageing innovation challenge for the Selwyn Foundation.

“Tui dreams big and thinks outside the square. She is looking to support Māori to thrive in the face of increasing complexity,” Ms Luke says.

For Tui, a former Director at the National Library Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa and General Manager of Innovation at Te Papa Tongarewa, the position of Tumuaki is an opportunity to showcase, encourage and support the strength and diversity of Māori creativity and business acumen.

“It’s a privilege to hold this role and work with the Te Matarau board and others,” says Ms. Te Hau.
“Our region largely relies on our people’s creativity and intellectual capital. I’m looking to support Māori business, create high-value career pathways and strong connections with industry and harness the collective brain-power and natural innovation of Māori in our region to create prosperity now and leave a strong legacy for the generations that will follow.”