Staff Profile

Meet Tui Kaumoana, UniServices Kaiārahi

30 June 2021
Learn about Tui Kaumoana (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato) and her role as Kaiārahi – a leader and bridge between UniServices and Māori communities.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Meet Tui Kaumoana, UniServices Kaiārahi

E rau rangatira mā, koutou ngā uri o Tuperiri, o Tāmaki herenga waka, tēnā koutou katoa. Tuheitia Pōtātau Te Wherowhero Te Tuawhitu, tēnā koe e noho mai na i runga i te ahurewa tapu o ngā tūpuna ō tōna whaea, paimārire ki te Kāhui ariki nui tōnu, rire, rire, hau, paimārire.

Ko Pirongia te maunga
Ko Waikato te awa
Ko Ngāti Mahuta te hapu
Ko Waikato te iwi
Ko Pūrekireki te marae

Ko Tui Kaumoana tēnei

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the work of kaumātua & kaimahi before me who have demonstrated incredible leadership for Te Ao Māori at UniServices, such as Matua Rawiri Wharemate, (moe mai rā), Matua Jim Peters, Matua Geremy Hema and the PVC Māori Office past and present. E mihi kau ana ki a rātou.

I have an MBA from the University of Auckland, with a specialisation in Māori business development. I have also written a thesis on the commercialisation of Māori medicine.


Before UniServices I worked in corporate and protocol roles with my tribal entity, Waikato Tainui and the Office of the Kiingitanga, which has really enhanced my passion for positive Māori kaupapa.

I also have extensive business and entrepreneurial experience. I spent six years in Shanghai running a furniture manufacturing company that exported products made with New Zealand pine to Canada, Australia and Aotearoa. I’m therefore a speaker of Mandarin.

What does your role as Kaiārahi involve?

As Kaiārahi / Principal Māori Advisor to  Dr Andy Shenk, UniServices CEO, this position is a unique opportunity to champion Te Ao Māori initiatives. Drawing inspiration from the Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori Office, it is important to synergise by utilising the University wide Indigenisation strategy. This includes leading the indigenising initiatives in Research and Innovation, People and Culture, Strategic Partnerships and Engagement and Education and Student Experience.

My time is split between working to improve Māori cultural competency internally and ensuring we build authentic relationships externally. I work closely with the UniServices executive team to provide insight and strategic advice to ensure mutually beneficial Māori partnerships are developed and maintained.

Do you have a favourite whakataukī?

“Mā te huruhuru ka rere te manu” – Adorn the bird with feathers to enable it to fly. 

I like this whakataukī (proverb) because it speaks of empowerment. Being a mother of daughters, I’m always mindful to advocate for wāhine to be treated with respect and to consider how I would like my daughters to be treated.

Nō reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Nāku noa nā,
Tui Kaumoana
Kaiārahi – Principal Māori Advisor