Who we are

Te Awe Wellington Maori Business Network is a non-profit organisation and was established in 1996. It is the oldest Maori Business Network operating in New Zealand. We are registered with the Registrar of Companies as an Incorporated Society which is governed by a committee on a voluntary basis.

Te Awe has a strong membership base representing small to medium sized businesses through to large corporate companies. Non Maori business people can also take advantage of our Associate Membership option.

Te Awe’s purpose is to promote, assist and encourage Maori in business through regular networking Hui where Maori business owners meet and share their business successes and challenges.

We have been delighted to have as our guest speakers, leading Maori Buisness people and personalities including James Johnston (Rainey Collins Lawyers), Dr Farah Palmer (Massey University), Doug Hauraki (Maori Education Trust), Hon John Tamihere (former Member for Tamaki Makaurau), Ralph Norris (formerly Air New Zealand and Commonwealth Bank of Australia), Rob McLeod (New Zealand Business Round Table), Rick Bettle (New Zealand Institute of Directors), Michael Campbell (US Open Champion), Liz Kelly (Porirua City Councellor and Business Woman) and Ata Te Kanawa (Editor of Tu Mai Magazine).

Management Committee

The current management committee members are;


Mark Whitecliffe (Te Arawa)

Mark has been elected as interim Chairperson until the AGM in August 2015. He has been a member of Te Awe for over 16 years and is the Director of MSO Design and is suited to looking after the Te Awe Marketing and Website updates. You will usually see Mark snapping all the photos that go up on the Te Awe Website after each hui.

Mark started as the tea lady at MSO in 1982 and ended up as everyone's boss. This was back in the days of paste up and drawing boards. As we know – this has all been replaced by computers, screens, digital information, gigs, megs, iPhones, iPads and Cloud Computing. The MSO team is made up of seven people with fantastic talents and skills. The team work in the branding, graphic design and web development arena with a loyal client base that in some cases are more than 20 years old.

When he's not managing the staff of MSO, Mark is either jamming on his guitar or out fishing for Trout. He will travel near and far looking for that next big catch, usually dragging his partner and dog Hendrix along for the ride.

Contact: 04 3842677 or mark@msodesign.com


Paul Retimanu

Paul is our Events Coordinator and ideally suited to the task having hosted numerous events, functions and conferences as Director of Manaaki Management.

Paul Retimanu entered the industry as a bartender and by the age of 24 was already managing 40 staff as the catering manager of a large, five-star hotel. "That's the great thing about hospitality," he say, "you can move up the chain quickly and still be quite young, as long as you show your initiative and are prepared to work hard."

These days, in between juggling the demands of seven children, Paul and his wife Keri own and run Manaaki Management which provides full event and venue management of Te Raukura - te Wharewaka o Poneke including Karaka Café, Pipitea Marae and The Lodge at Shelly Bay. Manaaki (meaning – “to look after”) is a full venue management operation,providing services for all your venue needs including facility management,venue bookings, function and event planning, theming, food and beverage requirements.

Contact: 027 451-2186 or paul@manaakitanga.co.nz


Wayne Johnston

Wayne was elected into the membership committee in June 2013 to grow Te Awe Sponsorship and Memberships. He has spent the greater part of his working years in the corporate world building a business success story that is second to none! His working life started on the factory floor, literally, as a cleaner in the Dunlop tyre factory. From this humble start Wayne systematically climbed his way through the company holding down jobs as a tyre fitter, General Manager (Sales and Marketing), NZ Manager South Pacific Tyres and finally, Vice President Sales Australasia for Good Year Dunlop. His job was to manage all of the Beaurepairs, Goodyear and Dunlop exports to 30 countries from his office base in Melbourne. Remember the Vince Martin advertisement – this was one of Wayne’s campaigns!

Wayne is a family man; father of two and grandfather of two since 2008, has turned his business acumen to the running of two major whanau owned businesses. One in residential sales (housing) and one in Audio Visual services (AV Media NZ Limited).

Wayne has joined the Te Awe Board because he wants to give something back to the Maori world that he is a part of. In Te Awe he has found a vehicle to do just that. The Te Awe Board is very lucky to have a man of Wayne’s calibre and experience who is willing to give some of his valuable time and experience to helping others through the Te Awebusiness network.

Contact: 027 451-2186 or wayne@avmedia.co.nz


Doris Kaua (Te Atihaunui a Paparangi and Ngati Ka hungunu ki Wairarapa)
Maori and Pasifika Engagement Manager - ServiceIQ

Among other interests Doris currently leads ServiceIQ’s engagement with Maori and Pasifika people to encourage their participation, qualification completion and achievement in training and workforce development across the Accommodation, Aviation, Tourism, Travel, Museums, Hospitality, Retail and Wholesale sectors.

Doris’s experience to date has been varied, interesting, exciting, rewarding and challenging. She has had just over 26 years public service experience, five years as a full-time university student, three years in the private/business sector, three years in the NGO sector and over four years in the ITO sector. Doris has strong cultural beliefs, values and experience, and coupled with her work experience provides her with a unique edge in her approach to work. Doris is comfortable and confident in both the Maori and non-Maori world, has a “can-do” attitude and an innate ability and drive to simply “get on with the job”.

Contact: 027 556-6883 or Doris.Kaua@serviceiq.org.nz


Here are some related links you may find interesting:

Southern Maori Network - www.southernmaoribusiness.org.nz

Sydney Maori Business Network - www.maoribusinessnetwork.com

FOMA - www.foma.co.nz

Wellington Chamber of Commerce - www.wgtn-chamber.co.nz

Te Puni Kokiri - www.tpk.govt.nz

Federation of Maori Authority - www.foma.co.nz

Business NZ - www.businessnz.org.nz

NZ Trade and Enterprise - www.nzte.govt.nz