Te Ure o Uenukukōpako Rohe


Roana Bennett holds a Bachelor of Management Studies degree from Waikato University and was a finalist in the New Zealander of the Year Award 2015 for Innovation in Iwi/Māori Education. Her professional background is in strategy and governance, and she has proven planning and analytical skills.

She has committed the past 15 years working for Iwi, leading Te Taumata o Ngāti Whakaue Iho Ake Trust as General Manager. Her focus on lifting education and well-being outcomes for Māori is evidenced by the success of Te Taumata which has over 60 staff delivering numerous education and well-being initiatives encompassing early childhood education, alternative education, te reo, kaupapa Māori health and housing.

A lifelong advocate for Iwi development, Roana believes Iwi well-being is inextricably linked to our environment. As a leadership organisation, Te Arawa Lakes Trust has potential to transform collective well-being through environmental and policy advocacy and action.


Our lakes are our taonga. Our lakes sustain us, protect us and are part of us as we are part of the lakes.

It is the role of the Te Arawa Lakes Trust to be the hunga tiaki of all areas of our lakes and the assets that come under the Lakes Trust.

My moemoeā is to ensure that Lakes Quality is cared for, that our connection to our lakes are strengthened, and the wairua and the hā of our lakes are kept at the forefront of our conversations as the Te Arawa Lakes Trust.

I also support the drive that the Lakes Trust is behind to have the mana o ngā wai o ngā roto moana returned to Te Arawa hands. Nō tātau te wai – Nā te wai tatau: The lakes belong to us as we belong to the lakes.

Geoff ROLLESTON (Deputy Chair)

Our over-arching responsibility as a Trustee, is to ensure we act in the best interests for the benefit of all our Te Arawa whanau members.

Irrespective of rohe affiliations, our commitment to acting with integrity in all our deliberations remains paramount.

As a responsible Trustee, my aim is to continually uphold the mana and status of Te Arawa Lakes Trust by ensuring, without deviating from the strategic goals and objectives and fiduciary responsibilities, we pledged to uphold and execute fair-play policies that have enduring relevance.

In my role as Director for the commercial arm of the entity, I wish to continue to be an excited and enthusiastic contributor to the business at hand.  The TAML Board is executing an ambitious plan of self-sustaining and profitable operations, and I’m supportive of the strategic direction and implementation of that plan, that will deliver a positive result to the balance sheet moving forward.

Geoff Rolleston

Tūhourangi Rohe


Ko Nuki Nicholson (nee Royal) toku ingoa.

Ko Mere raua ko Bill Royal oku Matua.

Married to Taparoto, we are blessed with our daughter Chantal and mokopuna Reagan and Ebony.

My strengths are integrity, humility and a strong passion to contribute to the economic, environmental, educational, social, cultural growth and development of our hapū and iwi.

I have a Bachelor of Iwi and Environmental Management. In 2019, I will graduate from Waikato University with a Master of Sciences, Geography. I have over 35 years work experience and held Senior Management positions in Finance, Forestry, Education, Information and Health. I am familiar with and have a working knowledge of organisational operations, strategies, budgets and financial plans.

Currently, I am Pou Arahi Taiao – Iwi and Environmental Manager for Te Arawa River Iwi Trust and a Trustee of Kapenga M Trust.

Toi tū te whenua” – “Man disappears, but the land remains.”


I have extensive governance experience, having served on Trust Waikato since 2011 and currently chairman of the board, a position I have held for the past 5 years. The Trust fund for Trust Waikato is $393 million and last year made donations to the community of $27 million. I am on the Board of Trustees of Rototuna Primary School, one of the largest primary schools in NZ with a roll of 920 students. I am also a Council member on the governing body of the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) and in 2018 was appointed Deputy Chairman.

I am a Chartered Accountant and recently received a certificate in recognition of 25 years membership.

My professional governance expertise means I am able to offer the Lakes Trust skills and capability to enhance the well-being of all Tūhourangi uri.

Rangitihi PENE

My background is in education but in the last five years, I have been drawn onto our tribal trusts. I am a current trustee of both Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa and the Tuhourangi Tribal Authority. In these capacities, I have attended meetings in relation to improving the water quality of Rotorua and Tarawera. I see the Lakes Trust as a leader in providing Maori input into policy at both the local and national level. Our many lakes are under threat and we must be diligent in ensuring their mauri and cultural significance are enhanced.

My interests outside my whānau are my marae, Hinemihi, of which I am chairman. My iwi, Tūhourangi, I am an active member of Te Whare Kōrero o Tūhourangi, who run tribal wānanga. I am also involved in both basketball and kapa haka.

Te Kawatapuārangi Rohe

Tamihana (Toby) CURTIS (Chairman)


Senior Management Roles included different principalships. Appointed to nine Ministerial Committees, six as Chair. I retired from the office of Deputy Vice Chancellor.

  1. Economic Opportunities: Wealth creation activities from our resources, must provide job opportunities.
  2. Te Reo and Culture: Training tōhunga, will include a Māori Language Institute. All schools in Te Arawa will teach Te Reo and Māori history by 2020 and publish its own dictionary.
  3. Te Arawa Lakes Trust: TALT will guide not only positive programmes but also the social woes that are besetting our people.
  4. Harnessing Talent: Te Arawa’s latent talent is found amongst the young, especially our women. They must take lead and chairmanship roles. Short Courses at Harvard or Stanford Universities, should be offered.
Tā Toby Curtis (Sir)

Raina MEHA

BA, BA(Hons), MPhil

Bilingual, Hapū and Iwi Researcher, RMA Practitioner, Project Manager, Policy Advisor, Business Analyst, Contract Manager.

Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Makino, Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Aitanga a Mahaki.

Motivation: I am standing for a second term to help build the environmental and lakes management work the Trust is pursuing.   Engaging with our people, effective leadership and relationship building are vital to this kaupapa. I love our lakes and am a competent, experienced and committed trustee.

Governance: 2002 - 2006: Tapuaeharuru Marae Committee; 2013 - 2017: New Zealand Institute of Directors; 2013 - 2016: Ngāti Pikiao Iwi Trust; 2013 - 2016: Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa Trust; 2015: Te Arawa Lakes Trust; 2015: Te Tātau o Te Arawa; 2017: Te Tahuna Trust.

Mantra: Forget all the reasons why it won’t work, and believe the one reason why it will.

Raina Meha

Arapeta TAHANA

Arapeta was raised on the shores of lake Rotoiti amongst his Ngāti Pikiao whānau.  Arapeta is passionate about iwi development and te taiao within the Te Arawa rohe. He has been involved in the governance and management of Te Arawa organisations for the past 18 years, including multiple projects aimed at realising the collective potential and aspirations of Te Arawa.

Arapeta also brings extensive experience in governance roles with local and regional councils, including being Councillor on the Bay of Plenty Regional since 2013. He wants to help contribute towards strengthening the strategic focus and influence of the Trust to deliver better outcomes for our lakes, people and culture. Most importantly, Arapeta believes deeply in our collective obligation to care for our lakes and whenua, and in such, continuing the work of our tūpuna to maintain the mana of Te Arawa whānui.