Robert Cottrell (Ngati Kahungunu - Ngati Raukawa)
Robert has been a Trustee on Te Awahohonu Forest Trust since 1999 and is the current Chairperson of the Trust. He is passionate about Māori Economic Development and growing our Māori capability pathways through education, business and leadership initiatives. He is proud to follow in the footsteps of his father who was also one of the founding Trustees of Te Awahohonu Forest Trust.
Robert attended Lincoln College and completed a Diploma in Agriculture and Diploma in Valuation and Farm Management. He has worked in Rural Finance and Real Estate and consulted to a number of larger Māori entities in the sheep, beef, dairy and forestry sectors. He has owned and operated his own sheep and beef farm in partnership with his wife Lesley for 20 years between 1981 and 2001. He served on the Executive of the Federation of Māori Authorities between 1997 and 2009.
Robert has been the Farm Consultant to the Trust since 1992. He is currently a Director and Trustee on a small number of private and Government entities and has served on a number of Research and Advisory Groups in the Land and Agribusiness sectors.
Robert’s key focus is on maintaining the vision of our founding trustees by retaining the Trust’s core assets as the base for strong, sustainable, economic development and growth of Te Awahohonu Forest Trust and their people.
Myka Nuku (Ngāti Kahungunu)
Myka is one of Te Awahohonu Forest Trusts past Trustee Assistants who have made themselves available to contribute to the future growth of of the Trust. He joined as a Trustee in 2015, the same year his father Tamihana retired as Chairperson from the Trust. Myka’s appointment is a huge honour for him and his whānau.
He first worked as a carpenter in NZ and then Australia. After returning home, he completed a BA Honours in Mātauranga Māori and a Post Graduate Diploma in Secondary School Teaching. He now teaches at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ara Hou and has been there with all of his 5 children. His wife Roni is also a teacher, and supports Myka in his many roles.
Over the years, Myka has been involved is several Committees and Trusts. However, he understands that the Te Awahohonu Forest Trust is at another level to most. This is due to all the hard work put in by all the Trustees since its humble beginnings. His focus is on maintaining the mana that they have installed into the land and the organisation.
Myka and his whānau are passionate about all things Māori, but in particular waka ama. He is presently the coach for the New Zealand Men’s Team. During his paddling career, he has represented New Zealand several time at waka ama, and even won 2 consecutive world titles in White Water Rafting.
Ko te whanau te mea tuatahi
Family comes first
Serena O’Donnell (Ngati Kahungunu – Ngati Hineuru – Ngati Raukawa)
Serena has been a Trustee on Te Awahohonu Forest Trust since 2004. She is passionate about good governance and serves as a Trustee on several other Trusts in the rohe. She is proud to have followed in the footsteps of her mother who was one of the founding Trustees of Te Awahohonu Forest Trust.
She attended Massey University and completed her Bachelor of Business Degree extramurally.
She has held middle management advisory roles with several large iconic businesses and currently serves as a Director of two small family companies.
Serena’s life ambition has been to facilitate the empowerment of Māori to optimise, protect and enjoy their whenua for the kaitiaki of today and of the future.
Shayne Walker (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa - Te Whanganui a Orotu)
Born and bred in Wairoa and having attended Te Aute College, Shayne is of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa and Te Whanganui a Orotu.
With a background in the meat works, professional rugby and management and strategic design in Corrections and Health, Shayne completed his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Massey University and is currently the General Manager of Maungaharuru-Tangitū Trust.
After being a Trustees Assistant in 2013, Shayne was elected to the TAFT Board in 2015.
Key drivers for Shayne in his current term are maximizing the opportunity for business growth, protecting our taonga and supporting our whānau to realise their capability.
Shane Hiha (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Ahuriri - Te Arawa - Ngai Tahu)
Shane has been a Trustee for Te Awahohonu Forest Trust since 2012. He is currently the Tumuaki of Te Aute College and is instrumental in the rebuilding of student numbers at the school.
Shane’s prior work experience includes working in the freezing works in the 1970’s, the Police through the 1980’s and 90’s and running a small business in the early 2000’s. Since the early 2000’s Shane has been teaching in Hawkes Bay.
When not at work, Shane enjoys time with his family, the outdoors - especially hunting, fishing and diving.
He has recently served on many Trusts including the Ngā Manaakitanga a Te Hata Te Kani Tuku Iho Trust (Arapawanui 3C), Maungaharuru-Tangitu Trust and the Anglican Schools Office Trust.
Shane believes improved access to health, education and economic opportunities are dreams that can be realised through self-‐determination. For that to happen sound governance is essential.