Te Kūwaha key contacts

Key contacts for Te Kūwaha services

Ngāi Tūhoe

General Manager - Maori & Pacific Partnerships

Marino sits on the NIWA Executive Management Team and provides strategic leadership and advice to NIWA’s science, operational and cultural functions on matters pertaining to Te Ao Māori, with the aim of maximising the transfer of environmental and natural resource scientific knowledge to whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori entities and communities for the economic, social, cultural, and environmental benefit of the nation. 

Marino is also responsible for NIWA’s science delivery and partnerships within the Pacific Rim (Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa). 


Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pikiao, Te Whānau ā Apanui

Pou Whakarae - Te Hiringa Taiao

Erica joined NIWA in 1995 and has been a member of NIWA’s Te Kūwaha team since its inception. As Chief Scientist, Erica is responsible for driving high standards of quality, excellence, and innovation in NIWA’s science leadership in the Māori Environmental Research area. Erica has an extensive research career in the freshwater space with a focus on supporting the research aspirations of whānau, hapū and iwi. Erica is also a key mentor for Te Kūwaha team members and NIWA staff who engage in Māori environmental research. 

Ngāti Koata, Tainui-a-whiro, Ngāti Porou

Maori Organisational Development Manager

Darcel works closely with the General Manager – Māori and Pacific Partnerships, the Pou Whakarae – Te Hiringa Taiao and NIWA’s Operations Management Team to implement NIWA’s bicultural organisational development strategy. She works to enhance existing processes, develop and lead new initiatives and provide strategic advice and support.

Darcel also leads the science communication and outreach programme for Te Kūwaha; NIWA’s Māori workforce development and cultural competency programme; and Te Piko o te Māhuri – NIWA's Māori Capability Development programme. 

Kai Tahu, Te Atihaunui a Pāpārangi, Waikato-Maniapoto

Pou Arahi -Maori Development Leader

Jay joined the NIWA whānau from Christchurch City Council where he was Pouwhakatohutohu Matua-Acting Principal Advisor-Te Tiriti Relationships. Born and bred in Ōtautahi, Jay has the Pou Ārahi-Māori Development Leader role for Te Waipounamu. Jay’s role requires working closely with iwi, hapū, mana whenua and whānau across Te Waipounamu and other iwi, to strengthen relationships with NIWA, whilst also supporting the development for a greater understanding of how our organisation works and engages with Māori and other entities.


Pou Arahi-Maori Development Leader

Niketi is a whanau, hapū and iwi engagement specialist. He has over 27 years of experience in iwi consultation and designing and managing iwi engagement.

In his role as a Pou Ārahi he looks to facilitate strong working relationships between whanau, hapū and iwi and NIWA. Niketi covers from the top of Northland to the central North Island.

Nō Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou, Ngā Puhi rātou ko Ngāti Ruanui

Pou Ārahi – Māori Development Leader

‘Ko au te taiao, ko te taiao ko au’  

April joins NIWA from The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa as Pou Tikanga for the Iwi in Residence Exhibition – “Ko Rongowhakaata”, where she was responsible for Tikanga Māori protocols, enhancing the organisation’s cultural capability and awareness, along with a myriad of engagements with mana whenua, iwi and Pacific networks, national and international dignataries. She brings experience in the government, corporate, retail, public and travel industries where she held  positions at Taura Whiri i te reo Māori, Waitangi Tribunal and Air New Zealand.   

April’s role is iwi engagement in the central region,  building enduring relationships with NIWA and favourable outcomes for Te Ao Māori, and to strengthen and invigorate NIWA staff  with Mātauranga Māori raising further awareness of NIWA as a strong Treaty partner.

Waikato-Maniapoto, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga

Environmental Researcher

Ngahuia brings experience and expertise in co-designing iwi/hapū driven freshwater assessment frameworks and building the capacity and capability of whānau. Having graduated with a Master of Business Administration, Ngahuia works closely with the research and leadership team to achieve collective and individual goals. 

Te Atiawa

Freshwater Fish Ecologist

Shannan has been involved in a wide variety of freshwater research projects during his 15 years at NIWA, but his true passion is fish. Shannan has expertise in tuna fisheries assessments for iwi and freshwater fish taxonomy, ecology and behaviour.

Shannan is based in the NIWA Christchurch office and has a keen passion for photography.


Te Atiawa, Ngāti Te Whiti, Ngāti Tawhirikura, Taranaki, Ngāti Ruanui

Marine Ecologist

Mark has been involved in a wide range of marine ecology, fisheries and freshwater taonga species research during his 15 years at NIWA. He has a great general knowledge of marine and freshwater species and specialises in shellfish and octopus taxonomy. Mark is regularly involved in fisheries stock assessments, marine biosecurity and biodiversity surveys, and kākahi research. 
Mark’s love for the environment stems from his childhood ramblings in the Tararua ranges, the rivers and lakes that originate from them, and fishing and diving along the Wairarapa coast. He is passionate about kākahi and their welfare. 

Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu ki Whaingaroa

Maori Marine Researcher

Ani was Te Kūwaha’s first post-doctoral fellow, joining NIWA in 2017 after completing a PhD at the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre and Canterbury University, which focused on the ‘Ecological and sociocultural values of shellfisheries in Hawai'i and Aotearoa’. 

Ani has a passion for supporting whānau, hapū and iwi aspirations relating to inshore fisheries, including aquaculture, and indigenous ecosystem management (i.e., ki uta ki tai). 

Ngāti Kahungunu, Marangatuhetaua

Marine Scientist (Te Kuwaha)

Tēnā rā koutou kātoa, ngā mihi nui kia koutou o te motu nei.  

Kelly was born and bred in Ahuriri and pays tribute to her whānau and hapū for instilling the belief that no matter the odds, we can work hard to make a difference.  She has qualifications and experience in aquaculture, fisheries and resource management.  Her main role is based on an understanding of how scientific expertise, tools and information can best be used to support whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori business aspirations.   

Ngāti Whātua, Te Rarawa

Environmental Social Scientist

Melanie joined the Te Kūwaha team as an Environmental Social Scientist in 2021 after entering NIWA via the Te Kūwaha Graduate Intern programme. Melanie completed her MSc in Environmental Management, with her thesis investigating how the active experiences of kaitiaki in river restoration can broaden our understandings of cultural and spiritual dimensions of river restoration. 

Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Te Arawa, Ngāti Kahungunu

Freshwater Researcher

Alice has experience in environmental monitoring and analysis, regulatory environmental compliance, project management and the Resource Management Act. She is passionate about te taiao, particularly when it comes to the health and wellbeing of wai. Alice is excited to continue her work with iwi/hapū and to progress their kaitiakitanga aspirations. 

Ngāti Huia, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga

Environmental Researcher

Melanie joined Te Kūwaha as an environmental researcher in 2022 after an 18-month graduate experience at MPI, based primarily in Fisheries New Zealand. She completed her MSc in Biological Science in 2021, with her thesis focussed on the ‘conservation physiology of hoiho | yellow-eyed penguins’. 

Melanie is passionate about the marine and coastal environments and believes that working alongside mana whenua and mana moana is key to improving environmental outcomes. 

Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Awa

Environmental Researcher

Tekiteora was part of the first intake in the Te Kūwaha Graduate Intern programme, after completing conjoint BA and BSc degrees from the University of Waikato. More recently she has completed a MSc at the University of Waikato looking at shellfish pathogens and parasites in tuatua. 

Tekiteora is passionate about life in the marine environment and research that is of value to her whānau, hapū and iwi. 


Ngāti Ranginui, Tūhourangi, Ngāti Pikiao

Freshwater Technician

Siobhan is currently enrolled in a PhD at the University of Waikato. Her thesis research is focusing on providing insights into the early life histories of longfin and shortfin tuna. 

Siobhan is passionate about freshwater fisheries and te taiao. In 2020, Siobhan was lead author on a paper published in the NZ Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research entitled ‘Comparison of   bathyscope and snorkelling methods for iwi monitoring of kākahi populations in the shallow littorals of Lake Rotorua and Rotoiti’. She was also awarded the Department of Conservation’s Best Contribution to Conservation award at the 2020 NZ Freshwater Science Society Conference. 

Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Rangitāne o Manawatū, Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Te Rangi

Support Assistant

Kararaina was part of the second intake of Te Kūwaha Graduate Interns and has a background in chemistry, completing her BSc (honours) in Mechanochemistry at the University of Auckland in 2020. 
She is currently enrolled in a PhD at Victoria University where, alongside iwi, she is investigating the ability of native forests to sequester carbon as part of the CarbonWatch NZ project. 

Kararaina was recently awarded runner-up best student poster at the 2022 International Conference on Southern Hemisphere Meteorology and Oceanography. 

Ngāti Hako, Ngāti Tara Tokonui rātou ko, Ngāti Māhanga

Maori Graduate Intern

Jessie was part of the third intake of Te Kūwaha Graduate Interns. She graduated with a BSc in Ecology and Zoology at Massey University and is completing a PgDipSci in Marine Science at the University of Auckland. During her internship Jessie catalogued species for NIWA’s national invertebrate collection, mapped seafloor habitats, surveyed upper North Island ports for invasive marine pests, and helped to develop an identification guide for introduced species. 

Jessie is currently enrolling in a MSc through the University of Auckland to work alongside mana whenua and build new knowledge around the implications of a recently arrived marine invasive species on kaitiakitanga and the sustainability of te taiao. 

He uri au nō Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe, me Waitaha

Te Kuwaha Graduate Intern

Ruby has graduated with a Master of Disaster Risk and Resilience at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha after completing a BSc in Geography and Biology in 2021. Her BSc focussed on marine and freshwater ecosystems; her master’s researched Māori-tailored disaster risk communication and education tools. She is passionate about intertwining mātauranga Māori in environmental research and sustainability by building, strengthening and maintaining relationships with mana whenua. 

Te Kuwaha Graduate Intern

Natalie was part of the Te Kῡwaha summer internship programme in 2022 and has returned for the graduate internship of 2023. She is currently enrolled in a MSc in Ecology and Biodiversity at the University of Waikato. Her research interest includes our taonga species in freshwater and marine environments. Working alongside iwi to apply Mātauranga Māori coupled with western science to support environmental research and kaitiakitanga of our unique ecosystem biodiversity is her passion. 

Full Staff List

Staff member Position
Lisa Bragg Personal Assistant Email Lisa Bragg
Dr Shannan Crow Freshwater Fish Ecologist Email Dr Shannan Crow
Mark Fenwick Marine Ecologist Email Mark Fenwick
Jay Hepi Pou Arahi -Maori Development Leader Email Jay Hepi
Dr Alison MacDiarmid Senior Regional Manager - Wellington Email Dr Alison MacDiarmid
Kelly May Marine Scientist (Te Kuwaha) Email Kelly May
Melanie Mayall-Nahi Environmental Social Scientist Email Melanie Mayall-Nahi
Ruby Mckenzie Sheat Te Kuwaha Graduate Intern Email Ruby Mckenzie Sheat
Darcel Rickard Maori Organisational Development Manager Email Darcel Rickard
Jessie Scarrott Maori Graduate Intern Email Jessie Scarrott
Marino Tahi General Manager - Maori & Pacific Partnerships Email Marino Tahi
Natalie Taufa Te Kuwaha Graduate Intern Email Natalie Taufa
Kararaina Te Puni Support Assistant Email Kararaina Te Puni
Dr Erica Williams Pou Whakarae - Te Hiringa Taiao Email Dr Erica Williams
Alice Woodward Freshwater Researcher Email Alice Woodward


Free phone within New Zealand:
(0800 746 464)