Iwi Support Structure

Ko Te Ātiawa nō runga i te rangi

Ko te toki tē tangatanga i te rā

Taringa mangō, ko te kete nge

Ue ha! Ue ha!


Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust (“Trust”) was established by way of a Deed of Trust which was adopted on 3 September 2006 by Nga Uri o Ātiawa ki Kāpiti (Ātiawa ki Kāpiti descendants).

The predecessor to the Trust, Te Runanga o Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Incorporated (“Runanga”) established the Trust as the Mandated Iwi Organisation (“MIO”) for Te Ātiawa under the Maori Fisheries Act 2004.  In 2005, Nga Uri o  Iwi agreed to mandate the Trust as the MIO for Te Ātiawa ki Kāpiti, in fact we were one of the first iwi to achieve this milestone. Following two special general meetings in 2012, it was agreed to formally disestablish the Runanga and to have one governing body for the iwi – this is now the Trust.

Since 2005, the Trust has been the mandated body to speak on matters affecting the collective interest of Nga Uri o Te Ātiawa ki Kāpiti.  The Trust has certain political, social, cultural and economic responsibilities in addition to the asset management and distribution responsibilities brought about by the Fisheries settlement.  Annual elections are held in accordance with the terms of the Trust Deed and there are a total of 4 Trustees and 2 alternate Trustees, each elected for a term of 3 years by Ngā Uri o Ātiawa ki Kāpiti who are registered with the Trust.

The Trust continues to develop its capability to provide support to Nga Uri o Te Ātiawa ki Kāpiti on political, social, cultural, economic and environmental kaupapa – specifically as we enter into a new and exciting phase of development and move on from the turbulence of the past.

Your current Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai team members are:


As of 15 o ngā ra o Hakihea 2019 – The elected Board of Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust are as follow:.

Āndre Baker (Chair)

Whakatūria e Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai te pou, whakatūria te iwi kotahi o Ngāti Tama, o Ngāti Mutunga me Ngāti Maru-whara-nui. 

  • Currently employed as a Kaitakawaenga specializing in working with high needs tamariki and rangatahi Māori as a Youth Mentor.
  • Chairman, Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust
  • RMA Hearings Commissioner for Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai
  • Steward, Otaki-Māori Racing Club
  • Chairman, Horowhenua-Kāpiti Māori Rugby Board.

Kei nga tatai o Atiawa ki Whakarongotai tenei aku mihi ki a koutou i te mutunga o te wa. Me titiro nga kanohi ki muri i te kokirikiri i nga take o te tau i heke mai nei. Tena tatou katoa.

I would like to continue my service to our hapii and iwi of Atiawa ki Whakarongotai as a Trustee of the Charitable Trust.

It has been a privilege to represent our iwi as your Chairman for the last two years, providing leadership and direction by supporting our team of advisors and consultants who created our new Kaitiakitanga Plan, and dealing with the Councils and Crown agencies within our rohe. In 2018, this extended to your Trust securing significant funding to support our whanau in the Waitangi Claims hearings.

The next two years will provide us with the opportunity to promote our hapu and iwi development in all that we do to advance our aspirations.  Me kii, ‘ko toku waikanaetanga tenei’


 Kara Kearney (Treasurer)

Kara is currently three months into a new working environment as a Senior Programme Advisor for the Connected Communities Team at the Kapiti Coast District Council. Previously Kara worked for Raukawa Whanau Ora a subsidiary of Te Runanga o Raukawa.

A current board member of Atiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust, Kara has managed the finance portfolio for the last three years. For several years Kara worked with regional and national Maori businesses with a focus on bookkeeping and finances.

Kara has years of experience at Governance and Senior Management level delivering Maori inspired programmes to whanau, hapu and iwi. As a businesswoman, she has a sound understanding of policy & procedures, kawa me ona tikanga, as well as strategic and communication expertise.

Both professionally and in a volunteer capacity most of this work has been associated with the ART Confederation. Kara takes her responsibility as mana whenua very seriously – Ko Te Atiawa no runga i te rangi.

Kara grew up at Whakarongotai Marae alongside her Nanny Shirley, Koko Peter and Eruini whanau. She continues to be an active part of marae life with her whanau.

Na reira, Kara thanks the iwi for their tautoko over the years and hopes to continue her work with the governance board to uphold the values of our iwi and strengthen Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai for our future generations – Me mahi-tahi tatou katoa.

RaRawhiti Higgott

My name is Rawhiti Higgott and I live in Waikanae with my wife and daughter.

I am employed full-time at Paraparaumu College in the Careers Department as the co-ordinator for student work experience. I work with 65 senior students who I place into work experience within our community.   I work closely with local businesses, families, college staff and the student ensuring the right workplace is suited to the student and employer.

I also place students in short courses at Polytechnics and Industry Training Organisations. Courses such as Maori Tourism on Kapiti Island, Taiao and Marae studies will continue next year and are proving very popular.  I support powhiri and whakatau at college and am available to support our iwi rep on the college Board of Trustees.

As a current trustee, I am hoping to be re-elected for another term. The trust has achieved much over the last term and in particular our Treaty Claim. It has been a huge effort from dedicated trustees and office staff

I sit on our environmental, Waikanae Town Centre, lwi registration and Claims committees. I continue to gain knowledge of challenges we face daily and as a trust I believe collectively we make good decisions. Living and working in Kapiti gives me a good understanding of our local community and I am able to bring that local knowledge to our table

The last two years leading up to our Treaty Claim has kept me busy in research and identifying the Crowns treaty breaches. Some of my findings have been included in a number of Research Documents and in particular Paraparaumu airport, Whakarongotai marae and Waikanae Town Centre. I gave evidence in support of our treaty claim at the hearing held at Whakarongotai marae.

I have the responsibility of reporting to the Office of Treaty Settlements (OTS) when Crown Surplus Land becomes available for sale which our iwi may require to have land-banked for future treaty settlements. I currently have instructed OTS to land-bank a number of properties which they have agree to.

Another term on the trust will complete for me the work I have put into our treaty claim over the last two years.  I ask for your support and elect me for another term

Administrative Support

Kristie ParataKristie

Kristie is based in our trust office at 11 Elizabeth Street, Waikanae. Kristie has become a critical point of contact for all manner of enquiries and portfolio, and will help connect you with the right information and people to tautoko your needs as an iwi and community  member. Kristie works Monday to Thursday at the office and supports the Trust Board with secretarial, administrative, communications, iwi registrations, and various other projects.

The team looks forward to progressing with our iwi governance portfolios, representing the collective interests of our iwi.


The current structure for Ātiawa ki Kapiti comprises the Trust, Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Asset Holding Company Limited (“AKWL”) and Wharekohu Fisheries Limited (“WFL”), both of which are 100% owned subsidiary companies of the Trust. This structure was effectively developed from the framework offered by the Maori Fisheries Act 2004 and then consolidated when Wharekohu Fisheries was shifted over as another subsidiary. Given its foundations it is important to ensure that the constitutions of the subsidiary companies and the Trust Deed are able to incorporate any other acquired assets by the Trust or any developing activities of the Trust.

Following consideration of various structures which were appropriate for the activities of the Trust, the Trustees concluded that the most appropriate structure was one that was conducive to the Trust’s philosophy of protecting and growing the assets of Te Ātiawa for the benefit of Nga Uri o Te Ātiawa ki Kāpiti.

As such, the current structure is one where the Trust is the ultimate owner/kaitiaki and governing body for all assets and activities of the Trust, while separate companies have been and may be introduced to segregate assets and activities for the purpose of mitigating risks, protecting assets and enhancing focus on particular activities. The current structure is shown below:


In 2005, in accordance with the Maori Fisheries Act 2004, an Asset Holding Company (“AHC”) – Ati Awa ki Whakarongotai Holdings Comapany Limited (“AKWL”) –was established to receive, hold and manage the fisheries assets allocated by Te Ohu Kaimoana (“TOKM”).

AKWL is bound by the requirements of the Maori Fisheries Act 2004, the Companies Act 1993 and directions from the Trust. AKWL currently has two forms of assets to manage, these are summarised as Fisheries Assets and Cash Assets.

There are five aspects of Fisheries Assets:
1. Settlement Quota (population based – deepwater/off shore quota);
2. Coastline Quota and Coastline agreements (inshore);
3. Annual Catch Entitlement (“ACE”);
4. Share Holdings in Aotearoa Fisheries Limited (“AFL”); and

Both the Settlement Quota (also referred to as the population quota) and the Coastline Quota represent the legal licence to conduct commercial fishing activity and the ability of AKWL to sell and/or swap this quota is restricted. The ACE is leased by AKWL to commercial fishers on the basis of commercial returns along with maintaining strategic relationships. Finally, the shares in Aotearoa Fisheries Limited provide income through dividend payments to AKWL.

The directors for AKWL are appointed by the Trust and are appointed for a term of three years but can be re-appointed for subsequent terms up to nine years. The current directors for AKWL are:

AKWL Directors:

  • Bill Carter
  • Russell Spratt