Our People

Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Trustees

Elected and Advisory Trustees for the 2018-2021 term

Whanganui never refers to our human role in upholding our connection with our natural environment as a kaitiaki role.
To us, our kaitiaki are the mouri or spiritual guardians with whom we are innately interconnected. Hence our role as humans is termed tangata tiaki (tangata: people, tiaki: to protect or care).

Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui

Screen Shot 2019 10 22 at 4.49.24 PM
Gerrard Albert
Chair - Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui


Gerrard had a lead role in the Treaty settlement negotiations with the Crown in relation to the Wai 167 Whanganui River Claim, which culminated in the signing of Ruruku Whakatupua, the Whanganui River Deed of Settlement. In addition, he has more than 20 years working experience on environmental and resource management issues relating to Whanganui Iwi and the Whanganui River. Gerrard's first point of reference in all things is the Whanganui River and he has an intimate understanding of the tikanga and kawa of Whanganui Iwi relating to the River.

Screen Shot 2019 08 27 at 2.51.29 PM
Dr Rāwiri Tinirau
Deputy Chair - Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui, Trustee - Te Ngakinga o Whanganui Investment Trust and Director Whanganui Iwi Fisheries Limited

Te Ātihaunui a Pāpārangi/Whanganui, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngā Rauru Kītahi, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Wairiki/Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Maru.

Rāwiri was appointed to Te Ngakinga and WIFL as the Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui (NTT) representative and currently holds the position of Deputy Chair of NTT.

Rāwiri is currently the Co-Director of Te Atawhai o Te Ao Charitable Trust, a kaupapa Māori institute that undertakes a range of environmental and health research whilst holding a number of Governance positions and hapū/iwi/community leadership roles throughout the Whanganui rohe and beyond. He recently graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy (Management) and holds a bachelor degree in Arts (Māori Studies) and Business Studies (Accountancy).


Screen Shot 2019 10 22 at 4.51.24 PM
Che Wilson
Trustee - Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui

Mai uta ki tai me ngā parirau iwi

Having been groomed by our pahakethe knowledge acquired through whare wānanga has enabled Che to apply traditional narratives to contemporary contexts while ensuring the integrity of the knowledge is upheld at all times. This has also helped to open doors to regional, national and international opportunities.

Che is the President of the Māori Party, Chair and Chief Negotiator of Ngāti Rangi and Managing Director of INTUGEN Ltd.  Che also brings with him vast experience from previous roles as an environmental commissioner, General Manager of Ngāti Rangi, advisor at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Deputy Secretary (Dep CE) of the Ministry for the Environment, Director of Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation and numerous other roles.

"Our pahake groomed me and I have been fortunate to have learnt in both worlds and now have a strong international network of connections that can help progress the legal personality status of the Awa as well as help us grow our assets and progress our tribal aspirations. It is time that I give back to the river after dedicating so much of my time to the maunga, for all that I am has been moulded by the length and breadth of the river, from the mountains to the sea" says Che.

Screen Shot 2019 10 22 at 4.52.05 PM
Hannah Rainforth
Trustee - Ngā Tangata Tiaki o Whanganui & Te Whawhaki Trust

Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Hinemanu, Ngāti Hauiti, Ngāti Rangi 

Hannah grew up in Whanganui, with the riverbank at her front doorstep. She is a regular Tira Hoe Waka participant, and is committed to te reo o Whanganui, having completed Ngā Muka in 2010. Hannah currently lives in Taupō with her partner and two young sons. 

Hannah has both practical and policy experience around the awa, having worked in the field surveying the health of kākahi, tuna and other species, in the office on resource consent issues like sewage discharges, and nationally on forums like the Land and Water Forum and the reference group for the National Objectives Framework. 

Hannah has an understanding of the environmental, scientific and technical issues facing Te Awa Tupua, and is able to work between te ao Māori and the western science worlds. She also has an understanding of policy frameworks such as the Resource Management Act, the National Policy Statement for Freshwater and the One Plan, and most importantly, she has a love for Te Awa Tupua – ōna manga, ōna kōrero, me ōna uri. 

Screen Shot 2019 10 22 at 4.51.41 PM
Joey Allen
Trustee - Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui

Ngāti Haua

I was born and raised in Taumarunui. My upbringing features first and foremost te ahi kā o Titi Tihu. My grandfather Titi Tihu provided the learning that ensured that I would always bring my family home to Tawata for Christmas and New Year, learn the skills required for successful māra kai and what would one day be my key involvement in issues facing the iwi, hapū and whānau of Te Awa Tupua.

I see my role as a representative for all our people from the upper to the lower reaches of our Awa. I have no doubt that good governance with good strategy will ensure safe outcomes, with our first accountability to our marae and people. Communication is an imperative, kanohi ki te kanohi, I hope that my appointment provides an added opportunity to ensure our people continue to be involved in decisions which affect them both now and in the future. 

Screen Shot 2019 10 22 at 4.52.25 PM
Alaina Teki-Clark
Trustee - Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui

Ngāti Pamoana, Ngā Poutama, Ngāti Ruaka

Alaina is an accomplished businesswoman with previous governance experience in the community sector.

Alaina has a bachelor in business studies - Management and has been a self-employed company director for 20 plus years.

Alaina is committed to fulfilling her obligations to act in the best interests of all Whanganui Uri, Hapū and Iwi.

Screen Shot 2019 10 22 at 4.51.55 PM
Siani Walker
Advisory Trustee - Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui


Ko Raymond Tauroa tōku pāpā, Ko Nga Puhi me Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa te iwi, Nō Kaeo hau kāinga. 
Ko Aria Pohe-Graham tōku māmā, Ko Ngāti Tupoho me Ngāti Rangi ngā hapū, Ko Taihape te hau kāinga. 
Ko Siani Walker tōku ingoa, Nō Whanganui ahau.
I grew up in Whanganui, holidayed in Taihape, and tripped up and down Te Awa Tupua with my nanny Ani-Paki Waitai Haapu.

Those are times and memories that have ignited my desire to reconnect with Te Awa Tupua, be informed by Te Awa Tupua hapū, and especially important is to make time to enjoy with my whānau.  As an appointed Advisory Trustee to Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Trust, I am humbled by the knowledge, passion and commitment of those before me who have incrementally and staunchly lead the kaupapa for Te Awa Tupua. I hope to contribute to that kaupapa and the mahi needed to have the voice of Te Awa Tupua heard, to have the recognition of Te Awa Tupua clearly understood by communities and to make a contribution and difference in the care, nuture and management of this taonga.

Sandy Nepia
Advisory Trustee - Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui


Sandy has been a representative of Te Rūnunga o Tūpoho on Te Matua a Rohe (Advisory Committee to Nga Tangata Tiaki o Whanganui) since 2015 and appointed as an Advisory Trustee in 2019.

Sandy has worked in the local government sector for 30 years and is currently a manager at the Library that specialises in research, archives and heritage advice as well as holding significant roles within the Whanganui District Council that support Whanganui Iwi.

Sandy represents the Trust on Audit and Risk Committee.

Kaihautū - Chief Executive

Nancy Tuaine Photo
Nancy Tuaine
Kaihautū - Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui (Chief Executive)

Ngāti Uenuku, Ngāti Ruru, Ngāti Kurawhatia, Ngāti Huirapa

Nancy has whakapapa connections to Whanganui (Te Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Rangi) and has extensive experience in governance, management and Māori and iwi development.

She has held senior management roles within the public sector, including serving as chief advisor to the chief executive of Te Puni Kōkiri/Ministry for Māori Development for three years, and serving as the chief executive of Whanganui health provider Te Oranganui between 2012 and 2016.

Nancy was an initial Trustee for Ngā Tāngata Tiaki Trust when it was first established in 2015, and again in 2018 as she supported the establishment phase of the Trust.

Nancy also represented the Trust on Te Whawhaki, the Whanganui Iwi Development Trust as the elected Chair. 

In June 2021, Nancy stepped down from her governance roles to take on the job of Kaihautū of the Trust.

This role is the next step in Nancy's life-long journey and commitment to Te Awa Tupua.


Operational Team

Nancy Tuaine Kaihautū (Chief Executive)
Utiku Potaka Kaitohutohu 
Piki-te-ora Manuel Executive Assistant 
Merengahoe Ranginui Office Administrator
Ian Trethewey Finance General Manager
Te Aroha McDonnell Taiao Manager
Leigh-Marama McLachlan Communications Manager
Javell Pereka On secondment with Ministry for the Environment until Feb 2022
Bubby Tamakehu Kairāranga
Channey Iwikau Kaiwhakarite
Kimmy Ranginui Data Entry Administrator
Iatamai Tataurangi Cribb Finance Administrator



Have you and your whānau registered for the Whanganui Iwi Registration?
And are your details up to date?