Tuwhakairiora Williams will take the reigns of Te Kāhui Mana Ririki Trust as their new chief executive.
The Māori group was formed eight years ago to help eliminate child abuse in Māori homes. The Trust chairwoman Kuni Jenkins says, “Tuwhakairiora has served in the private, public and iwi sectors and now he has put his hand up to serve our most valuable asset – our children, their parents and whānau so we are absolutely stoked about that."
Kuni believes Tuwhakairiora has a vast skill-set that will compliment the role.
“Tuwhakairiora gets Māori and he gets government, education, business and communications and having someone on board with such a wide range of knowledge like that is exactly what we need to advance our goal of eliminating Māori child abuse,” Kuni says.
Mr Williams (Whakatōhea, Ngai Tai, Ngāti Porou) says he is up for the challenge and is looking forward to progressing the trust’s mahi to create violence free whānau environments.
“The trust has been heads down for the past few years talking with parents, whanau and testing and critiquing our programme which we know will, with the right support, make a real difference for tamariki,” says Mr Williams.
The trust has a big year ahead of them with their main priorities around bringing together every group working in this space, to take a serious and proactive look at Māori-based solutions and to undertake research on the behaviours and attitudes of young fathers.
The trust still relies solely on financial support from philanthropists Tindall Foundation and Todd Foundation.
Tuwhakairiora, who worked as a primary school teacher in his early career, has a degree in political science with a major in industrial relations. His previous work includes being an external advisor to various Ministers and government agencies facilitating engagement between them and iwi/Māori. He has also worked on marae development initiatives, involved in Treaty settlement claim negotiations, setting up the Māori Television Service, as well as a host of other kaupapa.