Since 2019, our unique marae based cultural leadership programmes have been making a difference. We don’t do this alone. Read on to learn more about our board, our team, and the organisations we partner with.

Our Vision and Mission

ORAWA Limited was established in 2019, intent on eliminating whānau poverty in Hawkes Bay, through the collective power of the community. We are a kaupapa-led impact enterprise, brought together to solve a BIG problem in ways that are REAL, by Māori for Māori. We are problem solvers. We are ambitious. We are collaborators. We are agents of change. We are Māori.

Our Vision

Our ambition is to eliminate whānau poverty, through the collective power of the community.

Our Mission

We are an impact enterprise committed to developing a new generation of Māori with the skills and confidence to transform their lives.

We facilitate marae-based cultural leadership programmes offering personal transformation, fostering self-awareness, confidence and wellbeing. Our graduates go on to achieve their potential through work, study and business.

Our Board

Founder and Programme Facilitator

Law and Arts graduate from Victoria University Wellington; Award-winning business owner and Director; Fulbright Scholar and Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Sarah is committed to assisting in the growth of the Māori economy. She sits on two Iwi Boards, is a member of the local school BoT and is Chair of her Marae Committee. Sarah fundamentally believes in order to grow the Māori economy we must understand the needs of the people, which is why she started Orawa Ltd in 2019.

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Board Secretary

Heather is a successful business owner and entrepreneur who has been providing governance secretarial support to Orawa for the last two years.  Prior to establishing her own business in 2019, Heather provided board support via her full time role as EA to CEO of Health Hawkes Bay Limited.  Heather brings a wealth of human resources, tax and financial experience in addition to her board support role. Thus keeping Orawa compliant safe and risk averse.

CEO – Ngāti Rangi

Helen is recognised nationally as an expert in community growth and whānau development. Being a pivotal force in the establishment of the Māori party, Helen’s expertise guided the set up and success of the Māori party’s entry into Parliament. Helen then successfully grew Te Putahitanga from a $5M organisation to a $50M social service. (Te Putahitanga is recognised as the largest whānau ora commissioning agency in Aotearoa, New Zealand). Helen now leads the Ngāti Rangi tribe on the west coast of the North Island, in Aotearoa New Zealand. A significant settlement, which includes both Koro Ruapehu (Mount Ruapehu) and the Kariori forest, Ngāti Rangi will undoubtedly thrive under Helens leadership.

Helen is a new board member to Orawa, but her wealth of expertise is considered a massive asset to the mission of alleviating whānau poverty.

Founder and Principal Consultant

Awhi e Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pikiao

Holly is a zealous advocate of transparent, accessible government and has a keen interest in the effectiveness of New Zealand’s regulatory systems. Graduating with a law degree from the University of Auckland, Holly was admitted to the bar in 2013 and spent four years working in the Beehive before founding Awhi at the end of 2017.In 2022 she was named Young Business Person of the Year at the Newmarket Business Awards and took out the People and Capability category at the MWDI Māori Business Women Awards. She is a columnist for National Business Review and also founded New Zealand’s first government relations education and training organisation Engage. Te Arawa (loud and) proud, Holly continues to look for ways to innovate government relations in Aotearoa, ensuring the expert industry is something everyone can access.

Holly is also a new board member to Orawa, and her business expertise, passion for government relations, and strong political network means Orawa will remain authentic to delivering its purpose in a meaningful way to all stakeholders.

Our Team

Programme Manager

Claudette’s background in service delivery has contributed to her strength in communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to build rapport and maintain positive working relationships with a wide range of people.

A skilled analytical professional, Claudette has over a decade of experience managing resources and assets for a long-established, performance-based maintenance contractor for Kāinga Ora. As an individual who thrives in high-pressure and fast-paced situations, she strives to set a balanced teamwork workload that utilises maintaining team relationships with inspiring strategies. Claudette leads the programme, with oversight of all delivery phases, from recruitment through to transition and mentoring.

Programme Facilitator

As Orawa’s Pou Manaaki and Life Skills Facilitator Jason upholds the tīkanga of our marae and facilitates basic life skills training for our tauira. His passion is helping tauira re-ignite their flame by assisting them to either re-enter the workforce or pursue further studies.

Outside of Orawa, Jason is chairman of Mihiroa Marae and a member of the Ko Kaitiakitanga – a roopu ensuring the sustainability and preservation of our Kai Moana for future generations. He is also a proud member of the Waipuka Beach Management Committee tasked to manaaki the whenua and beachfront at Waipuka (Ocean Beach).

“Kia ekengia i te waka i runga i te moana pukepuke”

“The sea may be choppy, but it can still be navigated”

Ngāti Kahungunu

Gina Cole is a change agent, collaborating with organisations committed to making a difference for Māori. As an architect of transformational change, Gina brings broad experience across Aotearoa and Australia in commercial, not-for-profit and government organisations, large and small.

Gina has a Master of Arts (Psychology) from the University of Sydney, where she lived for nearly 30 years, returning to Aotearoa in 2018.

Gina leads the Resilience Programme for ORAWA, intent on building a collective of investors, interested in the ambition to eliminate whānau poverty, here in Hawkes Bay and beyond.

Ngāti Kahungunu Programme Administrator

Following graduation of the Orawa Programme, Ariana Roberts secured the role of Programme Administrator, working with the wider programme team, tauira and partners to ensure that the programme operates efficiently, with manaaki! With a background in both Office Administration and Early Childcare Education, and as a mama of three tamariki, Ariana demonstrates strength in her ability to balance multiple demands across work and home. Ariana brings valuable first-hand experience of the Orawa kaupapa and is excited by the prospect of helping people discover their potential, while realising their worth and dreams. Please reach out here if you would like to speak to Ariana.

(BA Māori; LLB) Ngā Ruahine; Taranaki Whānui

Jason graduated from Victoria University, joined the Maori Legal Service and worked with NZ’s pre-eminent Treaty rights lawyer, Moana Jackson for five years. He co-founded Cultureflow with Sarah Reo who built the first commercial software product in NZ to learn te reo. He was responsible as CEO for the capital raise and establishment of Cultureflow China which delivered English training to the pioneering Chinese market in 2006. Upon leaving Cultureflow in 2009, Jason became the only Māori Chief Executive to lead 3 Tribal entities in NZ, Ngāti Whātua, Te Roroa and Taranaki Whānui and is now a specialist advisor to tribes and the Crown on Treaty settlements, business and governance. Jason has served/serves on various governance and advisor roles in government and Maori Entities but tends to live by the mantra – ‘don’t toe dip in life’.


Our Partners

To solve BIG problems, we recognised at the outset that we needed to deliver something different, in a collaborative way.

Together, we offer something that is UNIQUE.


Mihiroa marae is located in Pakipaki. Its principal hapū is Ngāti Mihiroa of Ngāti Kahungunu iwi.

The wharenui is also called Mihiroa and the wharekai is Pukepuke Tangiora. The marae connects ancestrally to the waka Takitimu, the maunga Kahurānaki, and the awa Ngaruroro and Tukituki.

Kaumatua from Mihiroa marae have invested in the Orawa programme, providing a venue and cultural leadership for over 20 programmes, hosting over 200 participants.

Hastings, Hawkes Bay

Prestige Limited is a family-owned business established in 1995, headquartered in Hastings. The company specialises in residential property repair and maintenance, multi trade building and renovation works, small to medium building construction, small to medium seismic strengthening work, mould and pest control, driveway safety, warm and dry homes, maintenance service provision, commercial property repair and maintenance and employs up to 500 staff.

Awhi is a government relations and communications firm that specialises in tailoring engagement strategies, helping the team at ORAWA build a narrative in a simple and meaningful way to build investor confidence. With Awhi’s support we have been able to “frame a clear picture of the programme’s impact, which has created a sense of pride within our organisation, our stakeholders, and the wider community. Not only has this helped our funders feel reassured in our mahi but they feel increasingly inspired to accelerate our mission.”
The Takitimu Performing Arts School Prestige Limited is a family-owned business established in 1995, headquartered in Hastings. The company specialises in residential property repair and maintenance, multi trade building and renovation works, small to medium building construction, small to medium seismic strengthening work, mould and pest control, driveway safety, warm and dry homes, maintenance service provision, commercial property repair and maintenance and employs up to 500 staff. A number of ORAWA graduates have secured meaningful employment with the team at Prestige Limited. Since 1983, Te Wānanga Tapere o Takitimu has been intent on empowering Māori through traditional art forms – waiata, haka, poi, waiata-a-ringa – developing a unique learning environment. Today the School remains committed to upholding the mana of Māori cultural performing arts, cultural education training programmes and more. Alumni of the School’s programmes have gone on to achieve great things, sharing their knowledge with pride and integrity. Courses are designed to help students gain knowledge to grow, nurture and protect precious taonga, as well as providing an excellent foundation for promising career pathways.
For more than 20 years Cultureflow® has delivered te reo Māori programmes across the length and breadth of Aotearoa. Founded in 2002, with the mission to ‘Whakamana i te Reo Māori’ – honour the Māori Language, purposefully connecting communities to businesses and organisations through language and culture. “We are real people, delivering real programmes, in the hope that we create a real difference”.
The Ministry for Social Development (MSD) has invested in the ORAWA programme, since start-up in 2019. MSD’s vision for Māori clearly states: Whānau are strong, safe and prosperous – active within their community, living with a clear sense of identity and cultural integrity and with control of their destiny – Te mana kaha o te whanau!