Meet the team

Using a creative, storytelling platform, NUKU amplifies Indigenous female change-makers, system shakers and leaders through audio podcasts, photography, videography, books, art and live events.  We support wāhine to transform thinking, transfer and gain knowledge across generations, uncover layers to cultural identity and be inspired to live authentically.


Founder + Creator

Ko Tainui te waka, Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa te moana, Ōruarangi te awa, Puketaapapa te maunga, Ihumātao te papakāinga, Makaurau te marae, Te Wai o Hua ki Te Ahiwaru me Te Akitai, Waikato, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Pikiao me Ngāti Kukiairani (Arorangi, Mangaia) ngā iwi,

Ko Qiane Matata-Sipu ahau. (pronounced key-ah-ne)

Ihumātao is my home and I've been surrounded by mana wāhine all my life. My upbringing encouraged breaking barriers, there were no limitations. Storytelling was instilled in me from childhood. At 2, I recorded my first ever podcast on a cassette tape, interviewed by my Nan. That must have influenced my later profession as I grew up to be a journalist, photographer, visual artist and, social activist. Specialising in topics of identity, culture, land and women, I’ve worked with publishing companies here and abroad on books and magazines, exhibited as far afield as China and France, worked with industry leaders like Disney and, regularly speak at symposiums and events.

My passion is telling the stories of marginalised people and our communities to change the narrative for future generations. Today I do that through my communications and multimedia production business QIANE+co and here at NUKU. While there’s a few media and photography awards under my belt, my greatest success is my daughter, Haeata te Kapua. I want to help shape the world before her, to influence opportunities for young Indigenous women and, to share collective wisdom so we grow an army of Indigenous wāhine change-makers ready to disrupt and transform our Ao for the better.

I launched NUKU in 2019, you can read a bit about the journey here and here.


Taylor Aumua

Taylor Aumua - Lead Videographer

My family are from the beautiful villages of Afega in Samoa and Naveicovatu in Fiji. I have always admired the Pacific mama’s and aunties that raised me and so feel as though it was fate when I met Qiane and fell into this kickass world of mana wāhine and Indigenous storytelling. As a journalist by trade, I’m obsessed with storytelling in its many art forms whether it’s written, video, photography, dance or even my nana creating shapes with her hands and singing songs to me to explain her childhood in Samoa. For me, it’s always been about getting involved in storytelling in any way I know how, to get our stories heard and most importantly, not forgotten. I’m a proud Westie with Bethells beach at my back door so in my spare time you can find me barefoot, in the sand and always with a camera in my hand

Melissa Harema

Melissa Harema - lead H/MU

Ko Maukoro te maunga, Hokianga Whakapau Karakia te moana, Ngatokimatawhaorua te waka, Te Rarawa Kaiwhare ki Hokianga te iwi, Nukutawhiti te marae, Nō Rangi Point ahau.

My friends call me Mel. I bring 20 years experience and the full force of my tūpuna into everything I do. NUKU puts me hair and face first into a world where my passion for Mareikura is front and centre, with the volume turned up HIGH. I count myself incredibly blessed to have been born and raised in the colourful and cultured burb of Māngere, where there is no shortage of strong and inspiring wāhine. My world revolves around wāhine. I love being one. I love knowing them. I love helping them feel good about themselves. I love everything we have been and all that we are to become.
When I’m not making NUKU wahine magic I am the owner/operator of a boujee little salon in Mt Albert called The Spot.

Emma O'Reilly NUKU Production Manager

Emma O'Reilly - Prod Manager

Kia ora! I come from a mixed bloodline of Polish, Irish, English and Māori whakapapa (Ngāti Porou). The stars aligned for me in early 2021 and I jumped at the chance to be part of the NUKU team. No two days are the same - from working on shoot logistics and event coordination, to the admin of NUKU behind the screen. I love being in such a nurturing, yet highly driven team. I come to NUKU with over 15 years experience in media, marketing & communications. The last years working in tourism media helping shape the stories told to the world about Aotearoa. I have had a calling for some time to understand and connect with my whakapapa Māori. Being a part of the NUKU whānau has opened that door for me. I am grateful and blessed to be here.

Did you know?

Melissa and qiane have been best mates for:

Furtherest place we've travelled for Nuku:

Rēkohu, Chatham Islands

36 years!

 NUKU team at NUKU Live Makaurau Marae Ihumatao

We've had 3 amazing annual events called:

Taylor is currently studying:



Fun moment on the road:

our nuku 100 wāhine are aged from:

Finding "Nuku" road in Tāneatua

14 years to mid-70s!

fav things to pass time on the road:

We've documented nuku stories:

From Waitangi to Ōtepoti

SING + eat cheese rolls!

Listen to the


NUKU podcast image

Apr, 06, 2021

Bonus: Qiane Matata-Sipu with Stacey Morrison

As a 35 year old Māori woman some of my greatest pain, sadness, whakamā and frustration comes from my journey with te reo. Stacey flips the mic on me to share a bit about my challenges, celebrations and expectations with te reo Māori and why my yearning for my reo is stronger now than it has ever been.

We would like to thank the following organisations for their support

Tindall Foundation Logo NUKU
Next Gen - Tindall Foundation

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