Utiku K Potaka

Ngāti Hauiti, Te Āti Hau, Ngāti Apa
Researcher and Cultural Advisor

Ka tū whakahirahira te Rātā a kahinga | The magnificent Rātā has fallen

Ka tō te kākano a ka tipu anō | The seedling vine grows once more

For the most part, I was raised on the family farm at Rātā in the central Rangitīkei district, where the Pā formed a gathering place for the close-knit community of Ngāti Hauiti.  Not surprisingly, manaaki whenua (care of the land) has been a life-long passion of mine and I continue to be actively involved in Ngāti Hauiti land development, farming, environmental restoration and Treaty claims.

Ko te Awa te mātāpuna o te ora | The River is the source of spiritual and physical sustenance

My whānau also lived in Whanganui where the Awa, moana and Pūtiki Pā were features of our lives.  I was fortunate to have been mentored by my kaumātua in the traditions of Te Āti Hau Whanganui where tāngata tiaki (care of the people) was a core value.  This encouraged me to take up various administrative and leadership roles within whānau, hapū and iwi with particular emphasis on the development of Ngāti Hauiti for over three decades.

Ka kohi te toi, ka whai te maramatanga | If knowledge is gathered, enlightenment will follow

After completing a Business Studies degree at Massey University, I spent much of my professional career in the public sector focusing on Iwi Māori development.  I have worked in operations and management and in recent times, in senior and strategic advisor roles.  One influential job I had in the early 1990’s was in Māori health research at Massey University where I experienced first-hand the value of research in advancing Iwi Māori development and therefore have been a staunch advocate of Whakauae Research since its inception.  I am delighted to be on the Whakauae team and contribute to the improvement of health equity and the empowerment of whānau, hapū and Iwi Māori.

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Utiku K Potaka