About Us

Māori tourism, as the first impression and final exclamation mark for visitors to Aotearoa New Zealand visitors, is important to NZ Māori Tourism.

The Māori world provides a key point of difference for visitors and entering this world offers a fascinating first impression, a unique connection, and everlasting memories.

NZ Māori Tourism works collaboratively with the Māori tourism sector to ensure visitors arrive as strangers but leave Aotearoa New Zealand as members of our whānau (family).

Our People


Staff Members

To learn more about the staff of NZ Māori Tourism, please read the profiles below. The contact details for each staff member can also be found here.

Pania Tyson-Nathan - Chief Executive

Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu
Since becoming CEO of NZ Māori Tourism Pania has focused on highlighting the unique opportunity that a Māori experience offers manuhiri (visitors) domestically and internationally.

Having grown up in business with her parents in the Hawke’s Bay and then owning businesses, Pania understands intimately both the pains and passion of a 24 hour personal and financial commitment. Fast forward to the mid 90’s she moved on to local and central government where she gained an appreciation of the important role that policy plays in our every day lives.

Pania has used all that she has learned over the years (and continues to learn) to position NZ Māori Tourism as a key contributor, participant and influencer within the tourism industry today.

Married to Evan (Te Roroa), between them they have 8 children and live in Wellington splitting their downtime between Mahia and Northland.

The next big job is to work through the leveraging opportunities that exist between international trade, tourism and investment. More on this later…..

Pania Tyson-Nathan
Phone: 04 474 4685
Email: info at maoritourism.co.nz

Hoki-mai Chong

Hoki-mai Chong - Chief Advisor 

Chinese, Waikato (Ngati Koroki-Kahukura)
Hoki-mai joined NZ Māori Tourism in 2015 after a lengthy stint at at the Ministry of Māori Development (Te Puni Kōkiri), where he worked in the Policy Division, and the Office of the Chief Executive.

Hoki-mai is heavily involved in the affairs of his iwi (Waikato) through his marae, Reretewhioi, in Waiuku.  Hoki-mai holds a number of governance roles within the iwi including being on the board, Te Arataura, and Chair of the iwi’s Group Audit and Risk Committee. 

Hoki-mai’s areas of focus within NZ Māori Tourism are wide-ranging with particular emphasis on stakeholder relations.  In furtherance of NZ Māori Tourism’s goal to grow the cultural, commercial and social wealth of Aotearoa NZ, Hoki-mai has worked with a number of iwi interested in branching out into tourism and Māori tourism operators; tertiary providers such as QRC Tai Tokerau Resort College; and a number of Government agencies.

Contact: Hoki-mai
Phone: 04 474 4683
Email: hoki-mai at maoritourism.co.nz

Amy Hodgkinson - Events 

With four years’ experience at NZ Māori Tourism, Amy has the magic touch of bringing ideas into fruition. Her role as events manager includes project management and corporate relationships - but she admits she’ll do anything she’s asked.

Originally from the Hawke’s Bay, Amy studied towards a Bachelor of Tourism Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Geography in Wellington.  She spent her twenties using her politics degree working for two political parties over three elections in communications and media roles.

In her down time time, you’ll find Amy hiking, learning to be a handywoman around the house, a better baker and training for her annual one big trail event (in 2018 it was the 50km Round the Mountain race at Mt Ruapehu) and training to become a pilates teacher.

This year’s goals include: increasing her Te Reo Māori and general cultural capability, continue to learn and be inspired by the people she meets in her job, hone her opportunity-making skills and, finally, learn the South Tyrolian dialect language of her partner, Paul.

Contact: Amy
Phone: 04 474 4687
Email: amy at maoritourism.co.nz

Lee Beazley

Lee Beazley - Executive Assistant to the CE, Office Manager

Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Ngai Tāmanuhiri, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Hine

Lee is NZ Māori Tourism’s office guru, managing the ins and outs of the office, assisting the Chief Executive and providing support to the NZ Māori Board.  Lee has been ensuring the critical functions in our office run smoothly since she came on board with NZ Māori Tourism in 2009.

Lee enjoys playing indoor netball and puts her skills to use by proudly coaching the Wainuiomata High School Junior Netball team.  When the weather is nice, you will find Lee and her husband, Craig, walking or running the Wainuiomata firebreaks or even the Wainuiomata Hill.

The pair have just passed Level Two in their Te Reo Māori classes at Te Wananga o Aotearoa and will begin level three and four next year.   Lee and Craig have five children and three mokopuna.

Contact: Lee
Phone: 04 474 4685
Email: lee at maoritourism.co.nz

Alyse Lynch - Finance and Accounts Manager

Alyse is our longest serving employee at NZ Māori Tourism. She came on board as a receptionist with NZ Māori Tourism in 2008 after graduating college, before moving onto administration. Now, she manages all our finances and accounts.

During her time here, Alyse has given birth to a beautiful girl, Zaria, who has just turned two. Alyse’s downtime is mostly spent consumed with her little pride and joy. She hopes to continue to grow in her accounts role and be the best mum she can be to Zaria – especially during the next terrible two’s stage.

Phone: 04 474 4685
Email: alyse at maoritourism.co.nz

Harmony Morgan – Administration Support

Rongomaiwahine, Tainui, Ngāpuhi
The youngest child of four - Harmony grew up in Titahi Bay, Porirua. In 2017 finding her soon-to-be husband Faresa of Samoan whakapapa, the two have just bought their first home in Wainuiomata, where Faresa was born and bred.

Harmony enjoys sport, arts and whanau time.

Her background is hospitality landing her first job washing dishes in a restaurant when she was 17 to running FoH in the same restaurant, soon after, exploring bar tender and managers roles in Melbourne and Wellington.

In 2016 Harmony came on board NZ Māori Tourism as a temporary staff member who became permanent in late Feb 2018.

Harmony is the Administration support person in our office – Making sure all staff, Board members and manuhiri get the right plane ticket, rental car, taxi & accommodation.

Since joining the team, Harmony has become more passionate about her role, and providing her team as much support as possible.

Contact: Harmony
Phone: 04 474 4682
Email: harmony at maoritourism.co.nz

Dani McDonald – Communications Advisor

Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe, Waitaha
Dani has taken on the role of Communications Advisor this year, coming from a background in journalism. Dani has reported in Wellington, Cambodia, Northern Territory and more recently, for Stuff’s national arts and entertainment section.

Dani’s role includes liaising with media, managing the monthly newsletter Te Tai Kōrero and social media as well as writing stories from around the motu.

Originally from Dunedin and Otākou, Dani enjoys reading, travelling, observing, spending time with her loved ones, photography and going to the tip shop to upcycle furniture. This year, her goals include getting fit for a holiday to Italy and France, continue learning Te Reo and French, as well as understanding more about her Southern Māori ancestry.

Contact: Dani
Phone: 04 474 4704
Email: dani at maoritourism.co.nz

Rakaitemania Parata Gardiner – Policy Advisor 

Ngati Porou, Ngati Pikiao, Ngati Awa, Ngai Tahu, Te Whanau-a-Apanui
Rakaitemania has recently joined NZMT as Policy Advisor. This means helping to shape the strategic direction of the organisation and developing a view on national tourism issues. Part of her role is also to improve NZMT’s cultural fluency, through reo and tikanga.

After graduating from Victoria University with a BA in International Relations, Political Science, and Modern Languages, Rakaitemania worked at the Ministry of Justice as a policy advisor, in both the Policy Group and the Crown-Maori Roopu, before coming to NZMT.

Rakaitemania grew up in the heartlands of Ngati Porou with her parents, her koka, her tipuna koka, her nannies and papas, aunties, uncles, and cousins. She was raised in te reo ake o Ngati Porou me nga tikanga o te wa kainga. She is a language nerd, an avid film-watcher/critic, and loves debating.

Rakaitemania looks forward to continuing to develop her policy skills, deepening her own understanding of te ao Maori through strengthening NZMT’s, and contributing to Aotearoa whanui through this mahi.

Contact: Rakaitemania
Phone: 04 474 4702
Email: Rakaitemania at maoritourism.co.nz

Board Members

To learn more about the Board of NZ Māori Tourism, please read the profiles below. The contact details for each Board member can also be found here.

Dale Stephens - Chairperson and Board Member

Te Rarawa
Dale was recently appointed as Pouarahi-Māori for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. Dale is an experienced senior manager having held the position of CEO for Touch Rugby New Zealand and Basketball New Zealand.

After a career in the police, Dale worked in the HR and finance sectors before leading the Māori cultural input to Japan’s World Expo in 2005 and also led cultural delegations to Asia to support business and tourism development.

Dale has held a number of directorships, chaired cross-government advisory and policy groups, and won two international public–government communications innovation awards.

Outside of work, Dale is Ngāti Pōneke Young Māori Club Vice President and trustee for the Pipitea Marae Charitable Trust.

Dale holds a Masters of Public Policy, a Bachelor of Business Studies, a Diploma in Policing Science, and a degree in Te Reo Māori.

Email Dale

Daniel Walker - Deputy Chairperson and Board Member

Ngāti Ruanui, Nga Ruahine Rangi, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa, Maniapoto, Tuhourangai, Tainui, Te Arawa, Te Atiawa

Dan is a proud husband and dad. Born in Christchurch and now living in Auckland, his whānau are from Taranaki.

Dan has many years experience as a senior manager in enterprise IT and tech leadership companies such as Samsung and Dell EMC. His specialty is providing convergence technology strategies, software and mobility solutions to organisations.

Dan has a passion for Māori success in business and the growth of leadership capacity within our Iwi, Hapū and whānau. He gets to enact this passion through his role in NZ Maori Tourism as Deputy Chair of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui and Chair of Whānau Mārama Parenting.

Dan has an MBA from the University of Auckland, a Masters in Advanced Leadership Practice from Massey University and a Diploma in Management and Te Reo Māori.

Email Daniel

Glen Katu - Board Member

Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Kinohaku, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Rarua, Ngāti Rereahu, Ngāti Ruanui
Glen is the Chief Executive Officer, of the Te Kuiti-based Maraeroa C Group. He chaired the NZ Māori Tourism Board from 2010 to 2012, was a deputy chair and foundation member of Tainui Waka Tourism and a member of Destination Pureora.

After spending almost 30 years in the banking industry, Glen resigned in 2002 to pursue a career in Māori business and social development. He has a professional or community involvement in a range of organisations operating in the forestry, farming and food sectors, as well as tourism. He has served on or worked for the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board, Taranaki District Health Board and its financial audit and compliance sub committee, Ngāti Ruanui Group Management Ltd (Hawera), Maunga Tu Maunga Ora Māori Business Development Agency (Taranaki) and the Taranaki Economic Advisory Group.

Glen has won several Māori business awards and is a member of the Institute of Directors.

Email Glen

Toro Waaka - Board Member

Ngāti Pahauwera, Rakaipaaka, Ngāti Kahungunu, Tuhoe, Rauwaka, Tūwharetoa
Toro has been involved in tourism for more than 25 years, beginning with tourism interpretation of Māori Historic sites, walking tracks and environmental tourism for the Department of Conservation.

He has been an owner/director and operator in a number of his own whanau’s tourism companies, and has been a director on Iwi Commercial entities for over 20 years.

Toro is Chairperson of the Ngāti Pahauwera Development Trust. Toro has a MBA from Massey University.

Email Toro

Verity Webber - Board Member

Ngai Tahu
Verity Webber is the General Manager Commercial at Ngāi Tahu Tourism. She has been a member of the executive team for seven years. A significant portion of Verity’s role involves assessing investment opportunities and greenfield developments to determine the strategic fit and value of the opportunities to the Ngāi Tahu Group, both at a commercial and a cultural level.

Verity enjoys working for an iwi organisation where success is determined not only by driving profitability but by delivering on wider iwi aspirations.

Being iwi-owned creates a unique point of difference for the Ngāi Tahu Tourism group and enables the businesses to incorporate Māori culture and stories into  their products with legitimacy. Ngāi Tahu Tourism has also benefited from being iwi owned when working with trade customers and taking the portfolio to international markets.

Verity is a chartered accountant and since completing her qualification with Deloitte in Wellington, she has held commercial roles in Christchurch and London.

Email Verity

Dr Xiaoying Fu - Independent Board Member

Xiaoying is an expert on bilateral trading and investment between New Zealand and China. She has worked on many of the investments into New Zealand from China, and has helped many New Zealanders to do business there. Xiaoying has a strong understanding of various industries, and good insights into them.

Xiaoying is currently chair of the NZ China HiTech Innovation Alliance, and was on the board of Kiwa Digital, Pure-Ora Mountain Ginseng Ltd and New Zealand Asian Leaders. She is a member of the Institute of Directors.

By training, Xiaoying is a scientist and an IT professional. She was a lecturer at Nanjing University before pursuing further overseas study in the United Kingdom. Xiaoying has a guiding passion for innovation, hi-technology and education.

Email Xiaoying

© 2019 NZ Maori Tourism Society