Maata Smith - Tauwhare

Maata Smith-Tauwhare is a descendant of Ngāi Tahu / Ngāti Wheke. Maata was born in Lyttelton and had an amazing childhood raised in Rapaki, attending West Lyttelton Primary School then onto Te Wai Pounamu College. Initially trained to be a home science teacher, however with the support of my family and friends I retrained as a Primary School Teacher while my three sons were young.

Maata is a retired Deputy Principal and is the current Chairperson of the Whakaraupō Carving Centre Trust. Maata has been a Board member since 2010. Maata passionately believes in the kaupapa of the Carving Centre and the amazing staff and board who support it. Currently Maata is thoroughly enjoying my retirement, reading a massive amount of books and babysitting her gorgeous Mokos.

Maata Smith-Tauwhare Board Member Rapaki Ngāti Wheke Chairperson
Riaana Deacon - Tauwhare Board Member Rapaki Ngāti Wheke Treasurer

Riaanna Deacon

Riaana Deacon-Tauwhare is a descendant of Ngāi Tahu / Ngāti Wheke. Born in Lyttelton, Riaana had a wonderful childhood at Rapaki.

She attended Lyttelton West primary school then onto Te Wai Pounamu Maori girls college for secondary schooling. After leaving school Riaana worked at New Zealand railways then onto the ministry of transport as a parking meter officer for 9 years then travelled extensively overseas for 5 years returning to work for Groenz Ltd and Golden state foods USA for 24yrs  managing the Sth Island. Riaana undertook voluntary work for Christchurch Safer Community Council for 4yrs and Coggs Christchurch East local distribution committee for five years.

Riaana has been a trustee for Te Mahi Korowai Trust at Rapaki for 20 years and 10 years as a Board member for Whakaraupo Carving Centre Trust in Whakaraupo / Lyttelton. Riaana is now enjoying her retirement with her husband Bob and her gorgeous Mokos.

June Swindells

Profession: Management, Support Services to Mama and their pepi CDHB contract delivered by Nga Hau E Wha National Marae.

Ko Wheke te Hapu – Ko Ngaitahu te Iwi

June served as a Director on the first Board of Te Runanga O Ngaitahu for many years and dedicated her interests to the service of her whanau, hapu, and Iwi. As well as many local, national, corporate and community organisations of New Zealand, voluntary organisations such as the Lions Club, Maori Women’s Welfare League, N.Z Maori Wardens, and environmental and health agencies have given her a varied outlook and balanced knowledge of her pa, land and people along with  the greater Community of Canterbury and Aotearoa.

Of special interest is Youth and their progressive entry into the future.

June Swindells Board Member Ngāti wheke Rapaki
Yvette Couch Lewis Board Member Ngāti Wheke Rapaki

Yvette Couch-Lewis

Yvette is Chairperson for the Governance Board of the Lyttleton/Whakaraupō Whaka Ora Healthy Harbour Catchment Management Plan, which was produced under her leadership in 2018. This plan is a significant collaboration between Te Hapū o Ngati Wheke, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu with Tangata Tiaki, Environment Canterbury, the Christchurch City Council, and the Lyttelton Port Company.

Ms Couch-Lewis has been involved with the Department of Conservation’s recovery group for Kākāriki karaka/orange-fronted parakeet since 2008 and the governance group since inception in 2018. She has been involved DOC’s governance group for Hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins since 2014. She was appointed as a member of the Waste Advisory Board between 2016 and 2019. In 2019, she was appointed to the role of Tangata Tiaki/Kaitiaki for Mataitia by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

In 2020 Yvette was appointed as one of the newly created ”Tumu Taiao” roles aimed at supporting better Council decision-making outcomes for mana whenua and for Environment Canterbury. Yvette has been a Ngāi Tahu representative on the Te Waihora Co-Governance Group since 2007. She has championed employment opportunities for hapū in conservation and a joint management approach between DOC and Ngāti Wheke for Ripapa and Otamahua/Quail Island in Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour.

In 2022, Yvette received an honorary Queen’s Award for her ongoing efforts and achievements related to Te Ao Māori