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 3 March 2023, the elected Board of Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust are as follow:

Cherie Seamark, Chairperson

Ko Waikanae tōku awa

Ko Kapakapanui tōku Maunga

Ko Tokomaru tōku waka

Ko Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai, ratou ko Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ko Ngāti Tama, ko Ngāti Mutunga ōku Iwi.

Granddaughter of Rangihauahi  (Sylvia Mitchell) Tamaiti/Thomas (Te Paea) & Te Puni Kokopo Tamaiti/Thomas (Te Paea),   whānau of Tamaiti/Thomas (Te Paea) and Morehu/Te Puke/Mitchell  whānau. 

Married to her childhood sweetheart, Jeremy Seamark, they have 3 tamariki and a mokopuna, Te Paea Seamark.  Lovingly referred to by her whānau as the “Boss” she is the second eldest daughter of Lynzi Taunotapu Thomas and Leo Smith.  Cherie’s passion for her whakapapa was encouraged very early by her mother and her best skills are often seen at Whakarongotai Marae, in the wharekai! 

Cherie brings strong business, management and leadership skills having completed a MBA at Victoria University.   She has excellent knowledge of Te Ao Māori and of the NZ Primary Care environment, having worked as General Manager/CEO at the highly successful Hora Te Pai Health service before being appointed to the role of Kaiwhakahaere/General Manager Māori for Tū Ora Compass Health and just recently, accepted a role with as General Manager at Te Aka Whai Ora.

Cherie has extensive experience in leadership and management. She has effectively demonstrated her capability to enhance the economic, social and hauora aspirations for our whānau. Cherie was responsible for establishing the initial Trust COVID-19 response during her tenure as the manager of Hora Te Pai. Furthermore, she led the latest Care in the community Covid-19 response through Manaaki Kapiti. Her efforts
resulted in the acquisition of multimillion dollar contracts from Capital Coast District Health Board leading to the employment of over twenty five staff members and the development of a COVID-19 response specifically tailored for those within Ātiawa iwi boundaries.  

The Trust looks forward to Cherie’s guidance and leadership, and we are excited to see what the future holds for our Iwi under her stewardship.

Tracey Morgan, Deputy Chairperson

I am a granddaughter of Sylvia Tamati (nee Mitchell) who was a founding marae trustee and Te Puni Kokopo Te Paea Tamati.

Tracey has a background in the arts and education, Tracey has been an invaluable member of our iwi representing Ātiawa on the Iwi Town Centre’s Working Group, along with being the iwi representative on the Mahara Working Group, Waikanae Libraries Development Group and Otaraua Park Development including previously holding the role as Te Whakaminenga representative for the KCDC Public Arts Panel. She is also a cultural arts advisor for KCDC.

We are thrilled to have Tracey and welcome her as the newest member of the Trust Board.

Janine Huxford, Finance Officer

I am a granddaughter of Sylvia Tamati (nee Mitchell) who was a founding marae trustee and Te Puni Kokopo Te Paea Tamati.

Janine will be resuming her role as our Treasurer. Janine has a wealth of experience in financial management, and we are confident that she will continue to manage our finances with the utmost care and attention.  

As a highly motivated professional in the experiential marketing and events sector with 21 years experience in the printing industry, Janine’s career is one focused on customer service with key strengths in building and sustaining strong working relationships. Janine is adept at establishing trust and credibility at every level and believes that the measure of her success has been in securing working relationships that have led to quantifiable results.

Her experience to date including having co-owned a highly regarded marketing and brand company has resulted in an in-depth knowledge of project and contract management and delivery of events and campaigns across Aotearoa and Internationally. Working in multiple industries, with many and varied organisations has given her a wide range of skills to bring to the table, whilst managing partners expectations.

Some of her clients included:

New Zealand and Wellington Rugby (All Blacks, Sevens World Series, DHL Lions Series, Hurricanes, Wellington Lions) match enhancement, event management and Central Netball Regions (Pulse) Operations, Commercial Manager, event management and Digicel Pacific Brand Manager, procurement and launch of brand and retail stores into Samoa.  Cricket World Cup, Football Federation Australia event management.

Janine is currently employed as the International Event Manager for Education New Zealand, Manapou ki te Ao, the government arm tasked with building international education opportunities for New Zealand inline with the Government’s International Education Strategy. Managing and leading the International Events team, working closely with partners, to ensure delivery of activity within agreed plans, budgets and cost recovery models.

We are thrilled to welcome Janine back to her role and look forward to her contributions. Janine’s expertise in financial management and her commitment to the Trust and whānau success will be invaluable

Āndre Baker – Trustee

Whakatūria e Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai te pou, whakatūria te iwi kotahi o Ngāti Tama, o Ngāti Mutunga me Ngāti Maru-whara-nui.  Me titiro ngā kanohi ki tāku kōkirikiri haere e pākahukahu mātou ki te tau i heke mai nei. Tēnā tātou katoa.

I am the proud son of Matau and Lloma Baker and mokopuna of Haua and Matenga Baker. I am standing for the position of Trustee to continue serving our whānau to the best of my ability.

I am the Kairuruku Whānau Whakahui (FGC Co-ordinator) for Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira and as a Kaitakawaenga, I specialise in working with high needs tamariki and rangatahi.

I prepare Cultural Reports for Youth and District Courts for whānau in Youth Justice Residences and Prisons. I am a Steward of the Ōtaki-Māori Racing Club, Chairman of Horowhenua-Kāpiti Māori Rugby Board and member of the NZ Māori Rugby Board.

You have privileged me to be elected as your representative for the past 6-years and given me the opportunity to be a strong advocate for our iwi, particularly in the ongoing challenges of our Treaty partnership with Kāwanatanga.  This has required leadership by supporting our Board, the marae, our rangatahi, iwi representatives, and our iwi consultants who work with District and Regional Councils, and Crown agencies.

In the last 2-years, I am proud to report my involvement in the successful review of KCDC and GWRC partnerships, securing ongoing Treaty claim and Takutai Moana funding, the $8.5m Waikanae ki Uta ki Tai Jobs for Nature Project, Rangatahi

Hui, COVID-19 Tikanga Haumaru response including kai and hygiene packs, Te Uruhi Gateway Project, A.R.T. hapū and iwi confederation forums, and our new Housing and Iwi-Māori Health Partnership Board initiatives, and finally our vision to reinstate Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai social services.

Pera Barrett – Trustee

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 43025517_2229949160570657_224482684838084608_n-1024x1024.jpgI want to contribute to our iwi board because I believe I have an obligation to do so, and skills which would be useful to our people.

Most of my work experience is in strategy, leadership, digital/tech, and people. I’ve been working in the fields of western systems and the public sector for the last decade, and those planted seeds of experience have grown into transferrable skills. Outside my 9-5, I believe I’m obligated to harvest those skills for the wellbeing of our iwi and te iwi Māori. The leadership of our tūpuna is why we’re still here, and any of us with leadership experience have an obligation to make the same kōrero true in 200 years.

Our whānau is OK, we have kai and money to pay the mortgage for now, so this obligation is something I act on today, knowing anything can change tomorrow.

While I try and meet this obligation through different kaupapa I’ve grown operationally and lead strategically eg. Shoebox Christmas, Paperback Guerrillas podcast and others, I’d like to narrow this down more for the iwi I’m descended from, and to whom I owe any inherited pukenga (ART).

Te Raukura Horomona Solomon – Trustee

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Untitled-1.jpgKei aku whakateitei ki te whenua, kei aku tamarahi ki te rangi, tēnā koutou

I am the youngest mokopuna of Nanny Harata Solomon nee Parata (Aunty Charlotte) and Matuaaiwi Solomon and I am both honoured and humbled to run in this year’s election to be a trustee on behalf of our iwi of Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai.

I am passionate about our rights and interests as mana whenua of our rohe, and in ensuring our ahi kā continues to burn brightly for those who come after us. This passion has seen me pursue a law degree at the University of Auckland with a focus on Tiriti, Māori land and environmental law.

I have a policy background which includes working for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu in their strategy and relationships team, where I advocated on behalf of the iwi whānui to further the interests of Kāi Tahu uri in their takiwā. While based in Ōtautahi, I also devoted my time to supporting the claims and hearings of Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai in the Porirua ki Manawatū Inquiry, which culminated in my submitting a joint brief of evidence with my first cousins Reina and Hepa to support the take of our ancestors.

I remain deeply invested in this work, and currently work for Te Arawhiti – the Office for Māori Crown Relations – in order to continue to expand my knowledge of the system in order to be a better kaitiaki and future ancestor. I also work alongside Shar Maoate Davis to support kaupapa taiao with the Greater Wellington Regional Council as a member of Mauri Tūhono.

It would be a great privilege to me to be able to further contribute to our iwi on behalf of the Trust if my nomination is successful.

Āku mihi nui ki a koutou katoa, Nā Te Raukura

Executive Management

Frank Hippolite – CEO

Frank was welcomed on 12 Hōngongoi 2023, with pōwhiri commencing at Whakarongotai Marae at 11.00am.  It was an auspicious day filled with whānaungatanga as the Iwi were excited with this new position.

We are confident that we have selected the best candidate for this position and that he will create many exciting opportunities for our iwi and lead us into the future. Frank brings strong business, management and leadership skills and is currently the Senior Solicitor for Te Puni Kokiri. 

Other roles held include:

  • Manager, Ngai Tahu Law Centre – Dunedin
  • Lecturer, Māori Land Law at Whitireia Polytechnic – Porirua
  • Solicitor, Te Puni Kokiri – Wellington
  • Senior Solicitor, Māori Trustee Wellington
  • General Manager, ‘Tiakina te Taiao’ owned by Te Ati Awa, Ngati Koata, Ngati Tama, and Ngati Rarua – Te Tau Ihu
  • Working party Lead, Minister, Iwi, and a salmon company engagement to agree on terms for an iwi-owned salmon farm
  • Appeared in the Environmental court in the King Salmon case
  • Iwi working group participant, consultation with Minister Mahuta in preparing for Three Waters.
  • Board Member, Tasman Bay Regional Transport Committee
  • Director, Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Group
  • Representative, Te Tau ihu at the National Iwi Chairs forum
  • Chair of Ngati Koata for 6 years

On a personal note:  My greatest treasure is my whanau. I was lucky to marry Karina Parai whose whakapapa goes back to Te Rauparaha. I whakapapa from the older brother of Te Rauparaha, ko Te Wairuihi Nohorua tona ingoa.

I have 6 children and 21 Mokopuna. Two of my children have law degrees and one has a degree in Political science. I wanted to work for Te Ati Awa as they are similar to my own Iwi Ngati Koata. Also, we have common threads of whakapapa. My wife comes through Te Rangihiroa. Te Atiawa and Ngati Koata have shared experiences in the Heke to Kapiti. 

Our old people have a saying “Ma te Huruhuru ka rere te manu” with feathers the bird can fly. Resources are needed to support the Iwi in their Moemoea for their future.

My vision is the accumulation and growth of resources to enable those dreams and aspirations to be realised. Education, Reo, Tikanga, Taiao, and housing are issues that we need to focus on moving ahead.   There is lots of mahi ahead, but the journey will be an opportunity for us to work together and prepare the bridge for our mokopuna who will soon follow.  I am humble and honoured to be given this challenge to prepare for settlement and set out organisation up for the future. 

Nāku noa, nā, Frank Hippolite

Administrative Support

Kaipiringa:  Ruby-Mei Thomas

RubyMei will work 20 hours per week between Wednesday-Friday. Her core duties are to co-ordinate the smooth running of the tari by supporting Trustees and the trusts finances, communications, she will manage all office bookings and our iwi database.  

Born and breed in Waikanae, RubyMei is the great-granddaughter of Rangiauahi  (Sylvia Mitchell) Tamati/Thomas (Te Paea) & Te Puni Kokopo Tamati/Thomas (Te Paea), whānau of Tamati/Thomas (Te Paea) and Morehu/Te Puke/Mitchell  whānau through Lynzi Taunotapu Smith, Ruby’s grandmother.  Self motivated, Ruby has worked as Admin support at Hora Te Pai before becoming a Mum. She is fully qualified in the 365 environment (our new digital environment) and was involved in helping test the digital environment at Hora Te Pai.

To contact Ruby-Mei, please email her at admin@teatiawakikapiti.co.nz

Kaiwhakahaere:  Janine Davis

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 79824634_10217178384005150_7207832331103502336_n.jpg

Ko Ngati Toa Rangatira, Ngati Raukawa ki te tonga, Taranaki tuturu nga Iwi, e noho ana ki Paraparaumu.

Janine works for the Trust as a financial administrator and communications officer.  She enjoys being a small part of the bigger picture and will only settle for delivering the best for the Iwi.

Nurtured from an early age, Janine’s success does not come from leading alone; it entails a collaboration of numerous people from many walks of life. Education was an integral part of Janine’s achievements, her koroua were the best teachers and enabled her to stand strong confident in her identity.  She has empathy about intergenerational changes and is driven to reciprocate these learnings onto younger generation.  Her fondest memories were at Whakarongotai Marae where she learnt that picking up a teatowel was an important role as was supporting the front in the wharenui.  that was a perfect business model.  Kawa me ona tikanga guided her in life just as policy and procedures do in business.

To name a few, Janine Davis has sat on many iwi representative boards through out Wellington/Kapiti.  As mana whenua, she provides a process to engage in positive outcomes through clear and transparent reporting to benefit any of her iwi. She enjoyed delivering small contracts with the Electoral commission as a Regional trainer and a Mobile Manager in 2017, an Engagement Advisor in 2018. She assisted in developing the Electoral Commissions Māori Strategy and became the Central Māori Communications Advisor in 2019.  Her most humbling role was being elected as the Chairperson of Te Runanga o Atiawa ki Whakarongotai.  She visited a few countries overseas before becoming a National Administrator for a sexual violence kaupapa, TOAH-NNEST. 

Her parents were business people on the Kapiti coast, so its only obvious that Janine would follow suit.  Having owned and operated businesses herself, she became a strategic/business planner and a qualified Financial Advisor with a strong kaupapa māori influence.  Her whakapapa enabled her to achieve the greatest rewards in life, but of all her accomplishments her role as a mother and Nanny to 13 mokopuna, will always her most cherished one.  

You may email her at kaiwhakahaere@teatiawakikapiti.co.nz


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:

  • Russell Spratt
  • Cherie Seamark
  • Ruben Kearney-Parata