Nancy Tuaine

Ngāti Rangi, Te Āti Haunui a Pāpārangi

In the early 1990s, Nancy started her career in Whanganui as a Māori and Pacific Island recruit in the Department of Māori Affairs (the predecessor of Te Puni Kōkiri). During these years Nancy spent time travelling the length and breadth of Te Tai Hauāuru supporting Dame Tariana Turia. She went on to help set up the infrastructure of Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority. Her career at the Whanganui River Māori Trust Board saw her forming relationships with iwi across Te Tai Hauāuru in the areas of iwi development, fresh water and fisheries.

Up until April 2020, Nancy Tuaine was the Te Tai Hauāuru regional manager at Te Puni Kōkiri. She had previously spent nearly three years as chief advisor to the Toi Hautū (chief executive). During this time, she provided strategic advice and led engagement on the health and wellbeing of Māori, including Whānau Ora. Nancy is now at the centre of her own whānau ora, having given up full-time work to care for five beautiful mokopuna. 

The vision and whakatauākī of Rangitakuku Metekingi have been instrumental and a guiding light for us as a people. He would often say, ‘He ao āpōpō, he ao tea’ – there will be a new dawn tomorrow, and that will bring clarity.

For young people who are thinking about what role they’re going to play in their community, in their hapū or their whānau, I think my advice goes to their pāhake first, to the mātua: step aside sometimes. Unless we step aside, there’s no room for people to come through.