Ngāti Rārua, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui
Born and raised in Motueka, Miriana has studied and practised law, and is a businesswoman and mother of four. She was an owner of Aotahi Limited, which specialises in developing and managing educational programmes in small business and money management for communities around the motu. Miriana is a director of Wakatū Incorporation, which is guided by Te Pae Tāwhiti (the 500-year intergenerational plan of Wakatū). She also received the Aotearoa Māori Woman Business Leader award in 2016.
She describes her grandparents, Warren and Joyce Stephens, as hard-working farmers who grew hops and tobacco crops and, like their tūpuna, survived by being courageous and innovative. She continues her grandparents' legacy by running the nutrition, health and wellness business of Wakatū and by serving as trustee for Te Āwhina Marae and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rārua.
As my grandparents used to say, if service is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you.