Reina Vaai is from Sataua, Savai’i. She lived in Samoa in her early years, until a cyclone destroyed her village and, her home. Her parents made the decision to move to New Zealand permanently.
Angela Watene lives in the city that never sleeps, New York, USA, working as a management consultant with one of the world’s largest accountancy firms. Her current area of focus is financial crimes, working with organisations to help mitigate against the threat of fraud.
Hana Tapiata is a lifestyle blogger living by indigenous philosophies and mātauranga Māori. Her passion is promoting tūpuna mātauranga in as many different mediums, and on as many different platforms, as possible.
Dr Lily Fraser is a GP with a special interest in low carb high/healthy fat nutrition. With a 15 year medical career she has seen the effects of chronic illness and, on the flip side, the positive effects that a lifestyle change can have on individuals. She wants to show that low carb is a normal way of eating. You could even say, a traditional way of eating.
Michele Wilson (Tainui, Ngati Pāoa) grew up identifying as an ‘urban’ Māori, and although she didn’t learn te reo me ōna tikanga as a child, she always felt an incredible connection to her tūpuna and te ao Māori. After working (unhappily) as a corporate lawyer and then suffering with postnatal depression after the birth of her second child, she was led into the ngahere to begin her healing and her journey to reconnect with her culture. Now, the owner of Frankie Apothecary, a rongoa-based skincare company, is helping other women and their families heal through natural remedies.
At only 25, Jacqueline Paul (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga) is already working in policy advocacy with a passion to have the youth and Indigenous voice included across governance boards. This landscape architect has a keen research interest focused in building better homes, towns and communities. She wants to improve Māori housing, mobilise rangatahi (youth) and Māori voices, and improve architecture and urban planning with transformative policies. The big goal, help hapū becoming sustainable, and, help eradicate homelessness.
Designer and weaver Kiri Nathan has spent the past 9 years building a fashion brand from competition-winning garments at Style Pasifika to a high-end label dressing some of the world’s most influential people; including Beyonce, Barack and Michelle Obama and, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Mojo Juju is from Te Whenua Moemoeā, the land of dreamtime, Australia. She is an ARIA nominated artist who has experienced being labelled “other”. Of mixed Filipino and Aboriginal heritage, from the Wiradjuri people of NSW, her latest album Native Tongue is her most personal yet. It talks about being mixed race and, that feeling of straddling a line between where you belong and questioning if you are enough.
Veeshayne Patuwai (nee Armstrong) is most recognised from her days in radio as a DJ for the urban Māori station Mai Fm. In the 90s, she moved to the big smoke of Auckland from small town Moerewa, quickly making her mark in the industry by becoming the first Māori female to ever win Best New Broadcaster at the Mobil Radio Awards. While she is known for her radio and acting career, it is her mahi supporting kōhine Māori that sits closest to her heart.