Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Ranginui
Living on his tribal lands of Ngā Pōtiki in Pāpāmoa, Tauranga, where his father Dr Monte Ohia was raised, Bentham is a director of Puata Hou Ltd, a whānau business that he runs with his wife, Kate Cherrington. Bentham grew up in a rural community in Waikawa Bay. It was here the value of realising Māori aspirations through whānau transformation was instilled in him by his late father.
He began his Māori-language journey as a student in the bilingual class at Wellington
High School, then attended Te Aute College. Te Aute was where his life was transformed
through learning about his Māori identity, language, and culture. From 1994, he spent twenty years with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, first as Te Pouhere deputy chief executive and, in the last seven years, as Te Pouhere chief executive.
For those that have failed in the past, those who haven’t done well at school, those who have made mistakes at a young age, those who had negative defining moments in life to date, you’re forgiven, basically. You have the opportunity to reset your life. Continue to believe in yourself, continue to have faith in yourself, continue to love yourself. And most of
all move forward in a self-determining way and serve your people. We have absolute belief in your ability to do this mahi. Kia ora!