Our success is determined by many people working together towards a common purpose.
Te kapa Our people
In traditional times, Ngāi Tahu relied on their ability to harvest food from the land and waterways to survive. Some Ngāi Tahu people would fish the lakes, rivers, and seas; others would hunt and forage from the mountains and forests, and grow crops. By working together, Ngāi Tahu could fill the whata (store house), and the people could thrive.
Today we employ staff from many ethnicities and backgrounds in roles throughout our businesses. We have jetboat and helicopter pilots, bus and truck drivers, dairy and sheep farmers, and property managers and developers; to name a few. We understand that we work for more than 58,000 tribal members, and through our work we contribute to improving the well-being of Ngāi Tahu people.
Te Poari The Board
We remember and honour the men and women who led and advanced Ngāi Tahu across land, sea, and more recently, through the Ngāi Tahu Claim. They are acknowledged in Ngāi Tahu waiata (songs), pūrākau (legends), and history.
Our future success depends on our ability to identify those with talent, and ensure they have opportunities to grow their skills, networks, and experiences as culturally capable, technically competent leaders for Ngāi Tahu. The current directors of our board form part of today’s wider leadership group, and are an essential part of the next generation of leaders. Our selection process helps us weave together a mix of leaders who ensure our boards are strong, diverse and capable.
Board member profiles
Te Tira The Team
Māori people crossed vast oceans to find Aotearoa, New Zealand. Aboard the waka (canoes), they had a team of people working hard to keep them moving in the right direction.
The role of the Ngāi Tahu Holdings team is to work together to keep our waka on course, maintained, and balanced. We liken our team to the outrigger of the main waka. Our values team keep the waka on course by ensuring that however we travel, whatever business we do, and how we do it, we are aligned to the aspirations of the iwi. The finance team prudently manage our assets, maintain the systems, and ensure the subsidiaries are coordinated and supported. The investment team spreads our investments to manage our risk and keep our waka balanced.
Mike (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Pikiao) brings an impressive amount of experience to the role of Chair of Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation Limited.
Previously, Mike held the Chief Executive role for 23 months and in that time achieved a legacy of success across the commercial units including the best ever profit result for Holdings.
He is the former Chief Executive of Tainui Group Holdings and has a wealth of management and governance experience across the infrastructure, property, financial services, and agricultural sectors.
He began his role as Chair in December 2021.
Kristen Kohere-Soutar (Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Ngāi Tahu - Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Ngāti Rakiamoa, Ngāti Waewae, Ngāti Wheke) was appointed as a director in August 2020.
Kristen brings expertise in investment and risk management to the table, which provides a strategic understanding of Ngāi Tahu Holdings’ business entities. As New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s International Coalitions Manager, she has worked to facilitate marketing collaborations for exports in the mānuka honey, seafood and strong wool sectors. She also has extensive investment and financial sector experience. A previous chair of Whai Rawa Funds, she joined the board Mercer New Zealand in 2017 and was appointed chair in January 2020.
Kirsten is also currently on the board of Ngāti Porou Holdings and was a Manawa Nui associate director of Hilton Haulage. A fluent te reo speaker, she is a values-driven leader who draws her worldview from tikanga Māori.
Juliet Tainui-Hernandez (Ngāi Tahu – Ngāi Tarewa, Ngāti Irakehu, Kāti Waewae, Te Whakatōhea) was appointed as a director in December 2020 on her return to NZ, following two decades of working internationally in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia.
Juliet brings expertise in business transformation, strategy, law, human capability, banking, regulatory compliance and risk management. She began her career working for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu over the settlement negotiations, which continued through her mahi as a Dispute Resolution lawyer for Bell Gully. Her international experience has been primarily in the legal and regulatory spheres; most recently as a Partner of large international firm Norton Rose Fulbright, where she also oversaw Business Transformation and was their Chief Compliance Officer.
Currently Juliet is an Assistant Governor at the RBNZ, where she also heads up their Auckland office and holds GM responsibilities for their Transformation and People functions. Juliet is passionate about system transformation and leadership with a long-term strategic outlook, including the opportunities for Aotearoa through integrating te ao māori to take our nation into the future.
Darryn was appointed to the Board in March 2017. He is the Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori at the University of Canterbury. Before he took up this role, he held the position of Director, Māori Development at the University of Otago for several years. Darryn is Ngāi Tahu with strong affiliations to Ōtākou Rūnanga. He is passionate about Māori and has been involved in leadership and development roles with Ngāi Tahu for the past 20 years. Darryn is currently the chairperson of Te Kāhui Amokura and Aviva and is a director at Nurse Maude.
Sophie is a chartered member of the NZ Institute of Directors and has previously worked with a diverse range of companies across Aotearoa and Australia.
She has held senior positions at Citibank NA, ANZ Investment Bank, Ernst & Young and New Zealand Post.
She has more than a decade of governance experience and is currently Chair of the MetService and Deputy Chair of CentrePort and Kordia.
More recently, Sophie was Chair of the Akina Foundation leading the development of the Impact Investment Fund and Fwd – a social procurement initiative.
Sophie is also an Independent Director of Livestock Improvement Corporation and Rangatira Investments.
Originally from England, Jon has worked in a variety of commercial leadership roles in developed and developing countries including the UK, the Sudan, Zambia, Australia and Aotearoa.
Jon currently chairs Kiwibank and Kaingaroa Timberlands. Previously he worked in directorships of ASB Bank, Sovereign Assurance, Chorus, Mercury Energy, Air NZ, SkyCity.
Jon has 32 years of voluntary NGO experience including chairing VisionFund International, the global microfinance/economic development social enterprise of World Vision, and the Wellington City Mission.
Jon is also an ordained priest of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and an adviser to the Wellington Diocese Board of Trustees.
Jason Paris (Ngāi Tahu - Waihopai), CEO of One NZ will commence a three-year term from 1 January 2024.
Mr Paris is at the forefront of thinking on organisational culture and the impact of new technologies. He is an expert in customer-based businesses that make a positive impact on the communities they serve.
Todd began his role as Tumu akoako (Acting Chief Executive) in April 2023 having previously worked as Manahautū Te Whano (Chief Operating Officer) for Ngāi Tahu Holdings and at KiwiRail as Chief Operations Officer and Deputy Chief Executive. His responsibilities at KiwiRail spanned the management of the Rail and InterIslander businesses as well as infrastructure development, employee and stakeholder engagement, and strategic leadership.
Highlights during Todd’s service at KiwiRail include leading the ten-year customer growth strategy and playing a pivotal role in the response to the Kaikōura earthquake.
Todd brings strategic leadership and operations experience to the COO role. A qualified mechanical engineer, Todd has spent his career in the pulp and paper and rail industries across New Zealand and the UK.
Sam (Ngāi Tahu – Puketeraki) began his role as Manahautū Te Whano (Acting Chief Operating Officer) in April 2023. Previously Sam held the Manahautū - Te Ruruku (General Manager Investment) at Ngāi Tahu Holdings. Sam joined Ngāi Tahu having spent a number of years at the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, primarily in the International Direct Investment Team.
He previously worked at the New Zealand Treasury and holds Bachelors of Law and Economics from Otago University and an MBA from Oxford University.
Jo joined Ngāi Tahu Holdings in September 2020 as Manahautū (General Manager of Corporate Services). She is responsible for the leadership and development of Corporate Services functions. She is accountable for delivering excellent standards of service to her key customers in NTHC and the Office of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. She also has executive responsibility for Ngāi Tahu Tourism.
Prior to this role Jo was Chief Operating Officer at Tourism Holdings Ltd (THL) where she oversaw global campervan rentals, sales and service, tourism and people and capability. She also spent 20 Years in the ICT industry in New Zealand and the UK.
Jo brings a broad range of leadership skills and experience across many industries to the role.
Dean (Ngāi Tahu – Ōtākou) was appointed as Manahautū - Te Pakati (General Manager Transformation) in July 2020 and has a wealth of global experience as well as an understanding of diverse stakeholder groups from different cultures.
Having served on his local rūnanga board and being involved with iwi initiatives, he has a deep connection to Ngāi Tahu.
Dean works closely with the executive leadership team and business units to enhance operational excellence and innovation, also providing support to the investment team.
Tim has been Acting GM Investment for Ngāi Tahu Holdings since April 2023, leading the Ngāi Tahu Investments business unit which manages the investment assets of Ngāi Tahu Holdings. He has been seconded from his role as Investment Manager where responsibilities include investment origination and execution, management of NTH’s private equity programme, investment mandates and a range of direct investments.
Tim has been with Ngāi Tahu Holdings for seven years and worked for NAB Group’s Institutional Banking division prior to that, managing debt exposures to some of New Zealand’s largest corporate borrowers.