An election was held by way of a postal vote to elect two trustees to Te Tumu Kaituna 14 Trust. This process was handled by the independent returning officer at GHA, Chartered Accountants Rotorua.

The results of the voting are as follows:

Colin Bennett 40
Matire Duncan 52
John Fenwick 52
Arthur Flintoff 17
Renee Kiriona 108
Tahi Kelly 5
Paora Maxwell 50
Colman Rauhihi 11
Geoffrey Rice 53
Kramer Ronaki 35
Georgina Whata 84

313 Voting papers were received.

There were 22 invalid votes.

Renee Kiriona and Georgina Whata being the two highest polling candidates will therefore be recommended by application to the Māori Land Court for appointment as Trustees.

We thank all nominees for standing for this election and the returning officer for managing the process.

Our congratulations to Renee and Georgina and we look forward to your input as Trustees towards progressing Tumu Kaituna 14 Trust.


Trustee profiles

Renee Kiriona

Kia ora e te whenua whānau whānui on Tumu Kaituna 14.

He uri au o Tapuika, Ngāti Rangiteaorere, Ngāti Uenukukopako, Ngāti Te Roro o Te Rangi, Ngāti Whakaue me Taranaki, Ngāti Apa.

I’m standing to be a trustee because I want to see as many owners reconnected with this whenua before anyone else does. That means putting owners at the top of the list for everything – housing, business, cultural spaces, camping and other developments. I want the owners to retain not just ownership and control of the whenua, but genuine mana whenua and mana motuhake that can be seen, heard and felt when on the whenua.

The strongest skills and qualities I bring are my expertise in communications and my passion for tikanga Māori across land and environmental protection.

I have more than 20 years in communications having worked in both the private and public sector. Over the past three years I have used those skills to campaign for the retention of the whenua and highlight concerns about the mining of it. As a trustee, I’ll ensure owners are kept updated and informed before major decisions are made. That I can promise you.

My knowledge of tikanga Māori comes from being raised by a whakapapa that is all about mana motuhake on all fronts especially in the land, language and environmental spaces. It is here where I’ll acknowledge my māmā Blanche Hohepa-Kiriona who passed away recently. Mum’s dream was to see this whenua retained and controlled by the owners and to be developed into a space where the Māori owners are seen and heard on the whenua.

I am māmā to a 9-year old son. A few years ago I took him to this whenua. He didn’t want to leave. One day soon, I hope he’ll be able to play on this whenua with your tamariki and mokopuna because whakapapa is everything.

Mauri ora

Renee Kiriona


Georgina Whata

General Manager
Partnerships & Engagement
Strategy & Change Lead


• Over 20 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors primarily in advisory roles to senior managers including CEOs and Ministers of the Crown. I offer extensive expertise in management, strategy development, stakeholder engagement, communications and legal frameworks.
• Oversee the development and delivery of a range of commercialisation projects. I have led a team of commercial analysts and project managers and contribute to organisation governance and strategy work as a member of the senior management team.
• I have held GM positions (Sustainability & Innovation, and Corporate Services) and as Legal Counsel providing quality, accurate and relevant advice on a wide range of legal matters to the Trust, including those pertaining to the Māori Land court.
• As General Manager, Sustainability and Innovation I managed a budget of approximately $5m – $10m (depending on the range of projects). I have also led a team of 18 staff across four divisions (Sustainability Centre, Culture and Legacy, Monitoring, and Communications).
• As General Manager Corporate Services I managed a budget of approximately $3m – $8m (depending on the project). Sourcing and implementing systems and processes that automated and improved workflows was a key focus.
• As a Senior Advisor at Callaghan Innovation I helped develop the Māori Economy Team involving extensive cross-government relationship building. I have significant experience developing robust, multistakeholder engagement strategies and partnership frameworks, helping Crown agencies establish relationships and create meaningful dialogue with Māori, and Māori enterprises.


  • Leadership – Strategy, People, Operations
  • Budget Management & Financial Reporting
  • Project Management
  • Communications
  • Data Analytics
  • Crown-Māori Relationship Management
  • Government Advise & Ministerial Reporting
  • Business Process Design & Development
  • Indigenous Farming Governance & Administration
  • Agribusiness & Primary Sector

Governance roles

I am the whānau representative for our whānau trust and have been tasked with taking on the responsibilities that our papa, Tabu [David] Whata-Wickliffe carried. My governance roles include the following.

  • Chair – Haumingi 1A2 Incorporation 2009 – Present
  • Chair – Paengaroa Sth 5 1999 – Present
  • Trustee – Tokerau 14B2 & Tokerau A15 Reserves 1997 – Present
  • Trustee – Whakapoungakau 24 2014 – Present
  • Trustee – Te Arawa Lakes Trust 2021 – Present
  • Trustee – Rotoiti 15 Trust 2020 – Present
  • Director – Tikitere Holdings Limited 2016 – 2020
  • Board Member – Wellington Community Law Centre 2008 – 2016
  • Board Member – NZ Māori Council 2012 – 2016
  • Committee of Management – Ruahine Kuharua Incorporation 2011 – 2015