Hēmi is of Māori and Cook Islands descent and a father of four, married to the love, rock and anchor of his life, Tracy. Prior to joining the Ihi Research team, Hēmi worked for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu as a Kaiārahi Kaitoko supporting the educational aspirations and goals of Ngāi Tahu whānui and Papatipu Rūnanga. Hēmi has been a member of the CYWC (Canterbury Youth Workers Collective) for over 20 years and worked with young people, whānau and the wider community through a range of different roles. He has attained formal qualifications in Social Work, Teaching, Te Reo Māori, Business Management and post-graduate papers in Public Health.
For many years Hēmi has offered professional supervision to youth workers and continues to provide cultural support via Te Tiriti o Waitangi and cultural responsiveness training for youth work organisations. He’s a member of the board of a local youth work organisation, Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi. Hēmi is a trustee and team leader for Scope, an assessment and self-review framework aimed at supporting youth work organisations to acknowledge or enhance their systems and practice to better support young people. Hēmi has held positions as parent representative on Boards of Trustees for both primary and secondary schools during which time he was also an active member of each school’s Komiti Māori and Pasifika to further his commitment to Iwi, Māori, whānau and Pasifika communities.
Previous positions Hēmi has held with boards and bommittees include Deputy Chair of the Waikato/Tainui Taurahere Group for Christchurch, Board Member of Crichton Cobbers Youth & Community Trust, Chair of the Māori Inter-Agency Network Group and Committee Member of the Cook Islands Trust – Turama Kuki Airani. Hēmi has completed training with the Institute of Directors and the ‘Strengths Finders’ course as a means of enhancing his skills as a board member, mentor, supervisor and coach. Following the 2011 earthquakes in Canterbury, Hēmi was the co-chair of the Maniapoto Whānau ki Ōtautahi Hub, supporting the relief effort for Ngāti Maniapoto whānui living in Canterbury affected by the quakes.
From 2010 to 2016 Hēmi led He Toki ki te Rika, Māori Trade Training collaboration for Te Tapuae o Rehua. He attended WIPCE (World Indigenous Conference in Education) hosted in Oahu/Hawaii in 2014, where he presented the strategic aspects, drivers and influence of the He Toki ki te Rika model as an indigenous-led (Ngāi Tahu) trades and construction initiative. He also led a national roadshow to various locations across New Zealand presenting at research and tertiary education, vocational and industry training seminars. The following year Hēmi was invited to present at the AERA (American Education Research Association) Conference in Chicago on He Toki ki te Rika – Māori leadership in trades. His presentation described the collective impact this initiative had as an Iwi-led consortium.
To stay grounded and to relax, Hēmi enjoys reading science fiction novels, ongoing development of his creative interests in Māori sculpture, carving and illustrations, learning Te Reo Māori and aspects of his Māori and Cook Islands culture. He is also actively involved with kapahaka/cultural performances and volunteering his time to support Youth and Community events. With his partner Tracy, keeping up with their children’s sport, music, art and kapahaka interests is a relished commitment. When Hemi has time, he gets to ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Education & Qualifications
-Bachelor of Applied Business in Māori Organisational Leadership 2014
University of Otago
-Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Health 2013
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa
-Diploma in Te Ara Reo 2010
University of Canterbury
-Diploma in Adult Teaching and Learning 2008
Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology
-Certificate in Māori Language 2005
University of Canterbury
-Certificate in Social Work 1998
-Member of Aotearoa National Evaluation Association.
-Board member with Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi
-Trustee with the Scope Charitable Trust Aotearoa