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Tonkin + Taylor welcomes Kumeroa Pihama as Pou Whanake – Technical Director Māori

By 27 February 2024March 7th, 2024Featured, News

In a significant move to strengthen its commitment to cultural integration and sustainability, Tonkin + Taylor is delighted to announce the appointment of Kumeroa Pihama (Ngāti Māhanga, Ngāti Maru, Te Ātiawa, Ngā Mahanga-a-Tairi and Ngāti Mutunga) as Pou Whanake – Technical Director Māori.

A mihi whakatau for Kumeroa was held in our Kirikiriroa/Hamilton office, with members of our Group Leadership Team, Board, and senior directors in attendance. Ngāti Māhanga, Māori leaders, and WSP team members were present to āwhina Kumeroa to Tonkin + Taylor and support him on his new journey.

Kumeroa brings significant experience across Engineering and Finance sectors, and a deep understanding of tikanga Māori and Te Ao Māori – pivotal to driving our strategic consulting services forward and strengthening our sustainability offering.

With a background that blends technical expertise and cultural leadership, Kumeroa is uniquely positioned to enhance Tonkin + Taylor’s projects and operations. His role is central to our objective of nurturing mana Māori in all aspects of our work, from infrastructure and environmental planning to water resource management and people development. Kumeroa will lead our efforts in integrating Te Ao Māori values and perspectives into our daily practices.

Tonkin + Taylor New Zealand Chief Executive Penny Kneebone says: “the experience Kumeroa brings will help guide all of Tonkin + Taylor and enhance our work and daily practices with the richness of Māori cultural perspectives.. His leadership and expertise in tikanga Māori and Te Ao Māori will be instrumental in ensuring that our work not only meets but exceeds the expectations of our clients, our organisation, and the communities we serve.”

Kumeroa, and his whānau, have a long-standing commitment to cultural education. This will see him leading concerted efforts to raise awareness and competency in tikanga Māori among Tonkin + Taylor’s staff. Kumeroa will also represent Tonkin + Taylor at various hui, providing thought leadership both within and outside the company, and where appropriate, support Indigenous and Inclusivity Strategies beyond Aotearoa New Zealand’s borders.

Kumeroa says, “I am grateful to Tonkin + Taylor for allowing me to join and support this whānau during this phase of growth. I’m looking forward to enabling the enthusiasm and being part of a high performing, creative environment that holds tight to the pillar of collaboration and fosters a future our descendants can be proud of’.

Nau mai, Haere mai Kumeroa – welcome to Tonkin + Taylor.

He waka eke noa – we’re all in this together.