New appointments to Massey University Council boosts Maori representation


Massey University Council has announced two new members, with the appointment of Oriana Paewai as a member by the Minister of Education, and appointment by the council of Traci Houpapa as a Vice Chancellor nominated member. These appointments boost the Council’s Māori representation to four of the 12 members, alongside Council member Tina Wilson and Chancellor Michael Ahie, who was also re-elected as Massey University Chancellor.

Ms Houpapa and Ms Paewai join recently staff-elected members Sarah Leberman and Nigel Barker, alongside reappointed council members Colin Harvey and Michael Ahie.

Ms Paewai is the CEO of Rangitāne o Tamaki nui a Rua, a large iwi health and social service provider based in Dannevirke. She became involved in the health sector in 2001 when she joined the MidCentral District Health Board public health service as Kaihapai, Toiora Māori (Health Promotion Advisor), where she now serves as deputy chair.

Ms Houpapa specialises in strategic and economic development advice to Māori, iwi, public and private sector clients and is known for her strong and inclusive leadership, with a clear focus on building the wealth and prosperity of Aotearoa New Zealand. She has an MBA from Massey University and in 2016 was awarded the Massey University Distinguished Alumni Service Award for services to agribusiness and Maori.


Traci Houpapa.


Massey University Chancellor Michael Ahie said the appointments reflected the university’s aspiration to be a Te Tiriti-led institution. “As Chancellor I’m extremely pleased to be able to welcome two such highly talented directors to the University Council,” Mr Ahie said. “Both bring a wealth of experience and I am confident will be an asset to the University in addressing the challenges ahead.

“In 2017, our university took the bold step to be Te Tiriti-led institution and commit to authentic leadership in Aotearoa New Zealand, upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its principles through our practice, and these appointments reflect the strides we have taken to begin to realise that ambition.”

The new appointments bring the total number of Māori members on Massey University’s to four, meaning that together with Nigel Barker, who is of Fijian descent, nearly half of the Council now come from Māori or Pasifika backgrounds, ensuring that the university has diverse representation at its highest level.

Oriana Paewai.


Mr Ahie said that all vacancies are now filled on the University Council, with experience across many vital areas. “We have balance, diversity and representation across Māori and Pasifika, and both breadth and depth of experience from the wider Council encompassing business, educators, researchers, staff, students and academics – people from all walks of life. Our Council’s talent and skill base is extraordinary and the two latest additions complete that.”

Full details regarding the Massey University Council can be found here.

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