Board of Trustees

Kani Edwards

(Rangitahi – Chairman)

Kani Edwards, Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa, was born and bred in Murupara, and grew up in and around Rangitahi Marae. Kani was in the New Zealand Police for 19 years. Kani was also a Housing Services Manager for Housing

New Zealand and Regional Team Manager for Crown Forest Rental Trust where he was responsible for Tāmaki Makaurau, Te Moana Nui a Toi, and Hauraki rohe. Before becoming an elected trustee on the Rūnanga, Kani engaged in a six-month secondment with the Rūnanga where he was both in charge of the commercial arm of the comprehensive settlement for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa. Currently, Kani is a Senior Implementation Adviser – Māori Partnerships, at the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Bert Messent

(Tipapa – Vice Chairman)

Bert Messent, vice chairman, is a father of two girls and a koro with two boy mokos.  Bert was first elected onto Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa back in 2011 and is currently serving his second term as a trustee on Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa,

representing Tipapa Marae, also the director for Mataatua Ace Holdings Ltd and Associate Director along with Murray for Tokowaru Assets Holding Company. Bert attended Tawhiuau Primary School and Rangitahi College.  Bert has worked extensively within the forestry industry, and was also a Prison Officer at both Tongariro/Rangipo and Waikeria Prisons. Bert has also represented Murupara, Bay of Plenty and NZ Maori in an array of sporting codes including rugby, table tennis, softball and cricket.

Taiarahia Taitoko

(Tipapa – Treasurer)

Taiarahia was elected onto Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa in 2014 and represents Tipapa Marae.  Taiarahia is our newly appointed treasurer and brings over 30 years working experience where she has gained skills in areas of Māori land administration,

operation of governance bodies, office management, and financial and strategic planning.  She has also been involved in helping whānau members through Maori Land Court processes, Treaty claims, and has contributed to post-settlement governance structures and strategic planning; she was also a trustee on the Ahu Whenua Trust.  Currently, Taiarahia lives in Rotorua where she is a Share Registry Manager at Deloitte.

Pat McManus


Pat McManus was reelected to the Runanga in 2009. Pat gained a Teaching Certificate, graduated from Auckland University and has been a high school teacher for about 25 years. Pat is a trustee on the Ngati Manawa

Incorporation, Ngahuinga Motumako Lands Trust, Te Ope Take Matauranga o Ngati Manawa (the Ngati Manawa Education Committee) and a past chairman of the Painoaiho Marae committee for 21 years. Pat was also a former chairman of Te Runanga o Ngati Manawa.

John Porima


John was born and bred and grew up in Murupara around all our marae in Ngati Manawa (NM). John is the longest serving trustee elected to the Runanga, of the current three serving trustees appointed by Moewhare Marae.

John is currently the Chairperson and Director of the NM Charitable Trust which distributes funds and grants to beneficiaries as well as improves the health and welfare of Ngati Manawa Iwi. John is also the Ngati Manawa Iwi representative on the 18 Iwi represented Bay of Plenty District HealthBoard Maori Health Runanga which meets quarterly with the Bay of Plenty District Health Board at a Governance and strategic level. John is also the Performance and Quality Manager for his organization’s  Medical and Community health services in Te Puke. John has experience in Quality fields as well, as a Lead Auditor for ISO 9001:2008 series as a Lead Auditor for NZ Health and Disability Sector Standards . He has also successful achieved Cornerstone Accreditation for his organisation’s Medical Clinic through the Royal New Zealand College of Practitioners. He is trained and certified as proficient in the NZ  Privacy Act and is also trained NZ  Health and Safety Representative.

Laurie Porima


Laurie grew up and was educated in Murupara attending Murupara Primary School and Rangitahi College through to 7th Form.  Laurie had a career in the NZ Army achieving the rank of Warrant Officer Class One.

Laurie served here in NZ and overseas in SE Asia, Hong Kong.  Laurie then worked in the government sector in client and customer services, and policy development.  Laurie attended Victoria University of Wellington gaining a double degree as well as post graduate qualifications from Auckland University.   Laurie operates a research and evaluation company focusing primarily on evaluation, quality assurance and strategic economic and social development, planning and research.  In addition to being a trustee for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa, I hold the Chair of Moewhare Marae, Directorships for CNI Iwi Holdings Limited, Ngāti Manawa Development Limited and my own company LLE Research Ltd. Laurie is also a member of the Institute of Directors (IOD), Māori Association of Social Sciences (MASS), Australasian Evaluation Society (AES), American Evaluation Association (AEA) a founding board member of the Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association and Koputaroa School Board of Trustees.

Maurice ToeToe


Maurice has represented Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa and Rangitahi Marae for many years.  Before his time on the Rūnanga, Maurice was part of the forestry industry as a Labourer;

Manager of his own forestry gang; and as a Forestry Trainer/Assessor.  He has been President of the Murupara Rugby and Sports Club, and Vice Chairman for Rangitahi Marae. Significantly, Maurice was involved in the rebuilding of Apa-Hapai-Taketake and other buildings within the Ngāti Manawa rohe. Maurice also served as Chairman for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa for two years. Maurice is currently the Mana Whenua Team Leader and Cultural Advisor for the Rūnanga.

Pouwhare Rewi


Pouwhare was elected onto Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa in 2009.  In the same year he held the position of Treasurer until 2012.  From 1998 to 2005 Pouwhare was the Farm Manager for Ngāti Manawa B4 Incorporation in conjunction with Waioma

Limited and Karatia Bull Unit. Pouwhare became a logging truck driver and in 2011, he became an Owner/Operator of Merlin Transport Limited, Log Haulage.

Leonard Grace


Leonard  was born and bred in Murupara and is the second eldest son of the late John Grace and Dianne Grace. Leonard’s career has seen him work for the Dept of Correction’s Co-facilitating an alcohol/Drug Abuse

Programme in Manukau and also as a NZMS Council Outdoor Instructor for Montgomery House in Hamilton, for offenders reintegrating back into society. Leonard has also worked at the Ports of Auckland for 7 years, and has also been a part of Forestry Advisory Committee for the Tuarārangaia Forest located within the Patuheuheu and Ngāti Haka rohe. Leonard is a director of his own log cartage business and also Koru Group Transport Ltd contracting to Fortus Forestry Ltd in Rotorua.