Māori Economic Development Advisory Board

The Māori Economic Development Advisory Board provides on-going stewardship, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of He Kai Kei Aku Ringa.

About the Board

The Board reports to the Minister of Regional Economic Development and Minister of Māori Affairs.

In carrying out its role, the Board will:

  • provide advice to our Ministry on the implementation of an action plan
  • provide regular reports to the Minister of Regional Economic Development and Minister of Māori Affairs
  • provide an annual report on progress to our Chief Executive
  • work with us to produce recommendations at 5-yearly intervals on renewing the strategic direction.

He kai kei aku ringa – The Crown-Māori Economic Growth Partnership

The whakatauaki, He kai kei aku ringa was adapted by the Māori Economic Development panel in 2012 and provided a vision and Crown-Maori led strategy for a productive, innovative, and sustainable Māori economy driven by whānau and Māori Inc.

He kai kei aku ringa describes ‘providing food by our own hands’ and is a metaphor for the resilience and economic self-determination of Māori people.

Read the Māori Economic Strategy [PDF, 639 KB]

Board members

Robin Hapi (Chair) – Ngāti Kahungunu

Robin has considerable experience and expertise in various aspects of Māori economic development, having served as the CE of Te Ohu Kaimoana for several years, the CEO of Aotearoa Fisheries and subsequently Chair of AFL and Sealord. He has strong relationships and networks in the Māori development and business sectors through his several directorships on public and private sector boards.

Harry Burkhardt MNZM - Ngāti Kuri

Harry is chair of the Ngāti Kuri Trust Inc and Te Puia (New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute). He is a businessman, owner of international plastics recycling business and a former chair and deputy chair of the Auckland District Health Board.

In 2015 Harry was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori. He is proposed to be a member of the Iwi-Crown Economic Taumata, which meets for the first time in April 2017, and provides a good linkage between the MEDAB and the Taumata.

Sacha McMeeking – Ngāi Tahu

Sacha has a LLM Honours and brings a serial entrepreneur’s approach to working with and for Iwi Māori. From instigating United Nations proceedings to developing a Māori social enterprise fund and leading commercial negotiations, she is known for solution-building that meets Iwi Māori aspirations.

As the General Manager of Strategy and Influence with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Sacha was responsible for government relations, public policy, strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, and inter-Iwi collaboration which included commercial opportunities.

In 2015, Sacha was appointed head of Aotahi (the School of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Canterbury) and co-director of Maui Lab. Sasha is also a partner in Tū Māia Partners, a collaboration of Ngāi Tahu women to deliver inspirational leadership and entrepreneurship programmes, from a base of ngākau Māori and with insight into catalysing and growing our people.

Shay Wright - Te Rarawa

Shay is the co-founder of Te Whare Hukahuka, an education organisation focusing on empowering indigenous community organisations, their leaders and communities. He is currently involved in Kahui Māori (Māori Advisory Board) Science for Technological Innovation Science Challenge and is a Board of Trustee member for Teach First NZ. Shay was listed in Forbes 30 Under-30 Asia as a social entrepreneur.


Tania Pouwhare – Ngāi Tūhoe

Tania is a Social Entrepreneur for The Southern Initiative team at Auckland Council. Her role is to support and enable social and community innovation in South Auckland to tackle some of our tough socio-economic challenges, and to be a change-maker inside a massive bureaucracy.

She is leading The Southern Initiative team’s work on procurement and employment and skills. Before moving to The Southern Initiative team 2 years ago, she held strategy roles.

Last updated: 12 December 2018