National | Law

Prominent Māori lawyer joins NZTE board

Mahuika was previously chair of Sealord and Moana New Zealand and has supported the growth of start-ups while on the board of Crown-run start-up incubator, Callaghan Innovation. Photo / Supplied

Māori lawyer Matanuku Mahuika has been appointed to the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise board, in a move the organisation says it hopes will bring it more in line with its obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Mahuika (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa) has more than 25 years' experience in Treaty of Waitangi settlements, whenua Māori law, and a wide range of commercial, corporate and administrative law, in addition to several high-profile managerial roles in major New Zealand corporates.

“This experience will be hugely valuable to NZTE, as we develop our understanding and practices to become a great Treaty partner,” NZTE chair Jennifer Kerr said on Monday.

Mahuika was appointed to the NZTE board by Trade and Exports Minister Damien O’Connor, and Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash.

A founder of prominent Māori law firm Kāhui Legal, Matanuku was also a partner at Walters Williams & Co and in-house counsel at the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission. He has also chaired Sealord and Moana New Zealand (formerly Aotearoa Fisheries).

Mahuika has most recently chaired Infrastructure group Eastland and nurtured startups while on the board of Callaghan Innovation, the Crown-run start-up incubator tasked with making New Zealand business more innovative.

As the seventh NZTE board member, Kerr says Mahuika will work with existing members Mike O’Donnell (deputy chair), Sarah Paterson, Deb Shepherd, Victoria Spackman and Carl Carrington, to collectively support NZTE to “grow companies internationally, for the good of New Zealand”.

Public Interest Journalism