Ngā Kaihautū Tikanga Taiao

Meet the members of Ngā Kaihautū, our statutory Māori advisory committee.

Lisa Te Heuheu

Lisa te Heuheu

Tumuaki (Chair)

Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Maniapoto

Lisa was appointed Tumuaki of Ngā Kaihautū on 1 July 2017. Lisa is passionate about Māori achieving their aspirations in regards to the environment, sustainable development and people growth.

She has a background in resource and environmental planning and in Māori natural resource management. Lisa currently works as a consultant for her company which she established in 2008. She has worked with iwi and hapū, in the public sector, as an academic research Fellow, and with primary sector organisations.

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth Science, a Diploma in Environmental Management, and Post Graduate Diploma in Management.

James Doherty

James Doherty

Ngāti Tāwhaki, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Ruāpani, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Hokopū, Ngāi Tūhoe

Jim Doherty was appointed to Ngā Kaihautū on 21 October 2011. He is currently retired and worked for many years in the Forest Service — including 10 years with Kaingaroa Logging Company, Murupara, as a Fabrication Engineer.

Jim has been involved with many committees and Trust Boards dealing with environmental and Māori matters, including membership on Environment Bay of Plenty’s Māori Regional Representative Committee, Chair of the Kaingaroa Village Council, and member of the Claims Committee for Te Rūnanganui o te Ikawhenua.

Jim was involved in a Landcare Research project involving 1080 uptake in pūhā, and was an expert advisor to the ERMA New Zealand decision-making committee that considered the reassessment of 1080.

Jim is a long-standing member of the ERMA/EPA Māori National Network and a Kāhui Kaumātua member for that Network. He is a Trustee on Te Kotahi A Tuhoe and works for the mandated iwi organisation to process all Tuhoe Claims with the Crown. He is currently Chair of the Tūhoe Tuawhenua Trust and a member of Ngā Matapopore a Māori Advisory Group to a FRST programme looking at alternative pesticides.

Kelly May

Kelly May

Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Marangatūhetaua

Kelly May was appointed to Ngā Kaihautū in November 2013. She is currently employed as a coastal fisheries scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). She works within the Coastal Group and National Centre of Māori Environmental Research (Te Kūwaha o Taihoro Nukurangi). Te Kūwaha provides expertise in environmental research, with a strong Māori focus.

Kelly also has experience as a commercial fisheries manager and a Treaty of Waitangi Deed of Settlement project manager.

Kelly has a Masters in Aquaculture from Deakin University, Australia. She has research interests in marine fisheries management and the development of tools to assist with assessing the status of fish stocks. Kelly has a strong interest in knowledge sharing, indigenous peoples' development, and the sustainability, management and utilisation of natural resources.

Haupai Puke

Haupai Puke

Waikato, Maniapoto, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Whakaue

Haupai has been a Senior Lecturer/Pukenga Matua (School of Māori and Pacific Development) at the University of Waikato, and has recently retired after 26 years.

Her personal interests have always revolved around whānau, hapū and iwi activities, education and the environment (such as the sustainable conservation of the Matakitaki Pā site). Haupai is Chairperson of the Purekireki Marae Trust of Pirongia, a member of the Pirongia Heritage and Visitor Centre, and marae representative on Ngā Iwi Toopū o Waipa, which monitors resource consents to the Waipa District Council. As an iwi representative Haupai is an appointed member on the Pirongia Ward Committee of the Waipa District Council and a Trustee of two Ahuwhenua Trusts.

Haupai's resource management interest stems from monitoring applications, which were presented for consultation to her marae committee. She has made submissions to Otorohanga District Council regarding resource consent applications and the Heritage arm of the Waipa District Council. She also successfully participated in the Ministry for the Environment’s Making Good Decisions Foundation Programme. Haupai was recently involved in hosting a hui of local marae and iwi to discuss the return of kōkako back to the area, having participated in relocating pītoitoi (robin) to their maunga.

Dr Daniel Hikuroa

Dr Daniel Hikuroa

Tumuaki Tuarua (Deputy Chair)

Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Uekaha

Dr Daniel Hikuroa was appointed to Ngā Kaihautū in May 2016. From 2011 to 2016 he was the Research Director at Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence, and prior to that he was the Community Earth Systems Science Programmes Manager at the Institute of Earth Science and Engineering, University of Auckland.

Dan is an Earth Systems Scientist who integrates mātauranga Māori and science to realise the dreams and aspirations of the communities he works with. He is an established world expert on integrating indigenous knowledge and science and has undertaken many projects including co-writing the 2014 State of the Hauraki Gulf Environment Report, geothermal developments, planning river and catchment restorations, co-writing iwi environmental management plans, independent reviewer of Marine Spatial Planning processes, hazard and vulnerability assessments and industrial waste rehabilitation.

Dan has also been spearheading alternative ways of assessing sustainability, including integrating indigenous knowledge and epistemologies into assessment frameworks and decision-support tools.

He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Auckland, a Principal Investigator at Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga, Associate Investigator at Te Pūnaha Matatini, and key researcher in the national science challenges Resilience to Natures Challenges and Sustainable Seas.

Dan is a member of Waitomo Caves Management Committee and the Waitomo Caves Environmental Advisory Group and serves on a number of trusts and as an independent science advisor for numerous iwi and hapū trusts.

Rick Witana Ngā Kaihautū Tikanga Taiao

Rick Witana

Te Aupouri

Rick Witana is Chair of Te Runanga Nui o Te Aupouri from the Far North. He has held numerous roles within the State Sector focussing on strategic relationship management. Rick is also a member of the Iwi Chairs Forum, and recently hosted the last forum in Waitangi.

Rick led Te Aupouri opposition against the breech of Maori rights around the Government’s proposed establishment of a sanctuary in the Rangitāhua/Kermadecs region (an area of cultural significance to Te Aupouri). He continues to participate in negotiations with Government Ministers to resolve and progress this process.

Rick reflected the importance of the work of the EPA for small communities like his own in Te Kao where issues such as waste, community restoration initiatives, drugs and alcohol, and conservation of iconic Northland spots are hugely important. He highlighted that the EPA and Nga Kaihautū have unique opportunities to balance development and economic opportunities with environmental and social issues.