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).

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

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.

Hoki-mai Chong

Hoki-mai Chong - Chief Adviser

Hingapoa, Ngati Koroki-Kahukura, Waikato 

Hoki-mai first joined NZ Māori Tourism in 2015, having previously worked in the public service. A major focus of his role at NZMT is to look after the organisation’s relationships with its governors, its members and its funders, Te Puni Kōkiri (Ministry of Māori Development).

Hoki-mai, in recent times, has also held various roles on the governing bodies of his iwi, which administers the collective assets of its 80,000 iwi members. He is also of Chinese descent through his great-grandfather, who emigrated to Singapore from the Fujian province in China.

Email Hoki-mai

Whitiaua Black


Whitiaua Black - Pou Tikanga

Ngāi Tūhoe, Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Whitiaua is the Pou Tikanga for NZ Māori Tourism. His core focus is to enhance te reo Māori me ōna tikanga at NZMT and the wider tourism sector.

Whitiaua’s expertise in te ao Māori has been instilled in him from before he was born. Growing up in a home where only reo Māori was spoken, he attended Kōhanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa and Whare Wānanga before becoming Head boy of Hato Pāora College and winning both the Manu Kōrero National Speech Competition (Pei Te Hurinui) and the Māori Women’s Welfare League National Speech Competition.

Whitiaua was also an adept sportsman in his heyday, representing New Zealand in three codes (Rugby Union, Rugby League, Touch Rugby) as well as being a national Coach and Selector for NZ Touch.

If all that wasn’t enough, he has also been a Reo Māori Teacher at Hato Paora College, Head of High-Performance Sport at Tū Toa Sports Academy and Hauora teacher at Te Kura Kaupapa o Horouta Wānanga.

When he’s not occupied with mahi, Whitiaua splits his time between sports, te ao Māori and keeping tabs on his tamariki.

Email Whitiaua

Honsol Chan Tung


Honsol Chan Tung - Finance & Special Projects Senior Adviser


Honsol started as a Finance & Special Projects Adviser for NZ Māori Tourism in 2021 after moving to New Zealand the year prior. Before joining the whānau, he was the Programme Finance Analyst at the UNDP Multi Country Office in Samoa serving the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and Samoa.

An accountant by profession, Honsol is a member of CA Samoa and has worked in various government agencies in Samoa and other development agencies in the Pacific as an accountant/auditor with the aim of improving outcomes for Pacific people.

Email Honsol

Matt Ammunson-Fyall

Matt Ammunson-Fyall - Director of Regions

Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Porou

Matt took over the reins as Director of Regions at NZ Māori Tourism in May 2022 after a two-year stint at Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA).

After initially starting in events and marketing, Matt's time at TIA finished in the advocacy and engagement space where he built strong connections both on the ground and amongst industry influencers – relationships he looks to build on in his role.

Matt's leisurely time is taken up mostly by his whānau, but among his other commitments is being Chair of Hoe Tonga Pacifica Waka Ama Association and keeping a watchful eye on the Sydney Roosters.

Email Matt

Liqin Mi


Liqin Mi -  Adviser (China)


Liqin is from Xi’an, China. She came to live in Aotearoa in 2009 and has been with NZ Māori Tourism since 2011.

Liqin gained a Master’s degree in Economics. She has since worked in international trade and economic co-operation as well as international relations across government and non-government organisations in both China and Aotearoa.  Since 2010, Liqin has worked for Statistics New Zealand, The Gibson Group, Wellington City Council, Early Childhood New Zealand and Te Papa Tongarewa.

Liqin has in-depth knowledge of how to engage with Chinese companies and government at various levels to achieve business goals. Liqin hopes to serve as a well-built bridge connecting Chinese and New Zealanders, especially Māori, to benefit both countries.

Liqin enjoys cooking, hiking, swimming and playing table-tennis. Her life goal is to work and live happily.


丽琴来自中国西安, 2009年定居新西兰, 2011年开始在毛利旅游局工作至今。




Email Liqin

Lee Beazley

Lee Beazley - Events Co-ordinator

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 Premier netball team.  When the weather is nice, you will find Lee and her husband, Craig, walking the Wainuiomata firebreaks or the Wainuiomata Hill.

The pair have just passed level four in their Reo Māori classes at Te Wananga o Aotearoa. They have five children and three mokopuna.

Email Lee

Alyse Harrison

Alyse Harrison - Finance & HR Administrator 

Alyse is our longest serving employee at NZ Māori Tourism. She came on board as a receptionist in 2008 after graduating college and has since evolved into the Finance and HR Administrator.

During her time at NZMT, Alyse has welcomed three tamariki into the world - Zaria, Ariki and Zola. As one would imagine, her "downtime" is mostly spent keeping up with her pride and joy.

Email Alyse

Sasha Thomson

Sasha Thomson - Executive Assistant

Airangi, Nōwei

Sasha has jumped on board our waka as the new Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive. The proud Wairarapa-raised wahine was at Sport New Zealand prior to joining NZMT and has spent time in similar roles at Wellington Water and New Zealand Rugby since returning from the UK in the mid-2000s.

Much of Sasha’s career has been spent in the secretary space following her first “real job” at The Body Shop out of school. In fact, it was only upon moving to London that she fell into her line of work and discovered a deep passion for working with people and ensuring they’re prepared for whatever is thrown at them.

Sasha also enjoys the challenge of learning different people’s needs and adjusting on the fly – skills she credits her four tamariki for helping develop and continually testing.

Enthusiastic about the outdoors, she and her partner, Allan, try and get their clan immersed in nature when they can. Preferably doing something that tires their kids out!

Email Sasha

Mary Auta

Mary Auta - Office Administrator

Hamoa — Tanugamanono, Mata'utu-uta — Upolu & Iva — Savai'i

Mary has taken on the role of Office Manager at NZMT following a 33-year career in teaching both in Aotearoa and abroad. Born and raised in Palmerston (Paradise) North, Mary admits she only made her way Teachers’ Training College because her best friend had enrolled and encouraged her to tag along.

The last three decades have seen Mary call Palmy, Rotorua, Auckland, Wellington and Samoa home, all thanks to her first profession. As grateful as she is for what teaching has given her, Mary felt it was time for change and a new challenge!

Mary has many day-to-day tasks, but, in short, her job is to make sure the office is in sync. When her day is done, Mary likes to make time for a workout with her partner, Ariana, expressing herself creatively or getting around her whānau.

Email Mary

Gail Parata


Gail Parata - Events Co-ordinator

Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāruahine, Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Toa

Gail Parata has returned to NZ Maori Tourism (NZMT) after a netball coaching opportunity took her overseas to Scotland in 2013. Fast forward to 2022 and she will join the Events Team, Te Kāhui Tātaki Kaupapa, where her organisational and management skills will be valuable.

Prior to settling into your typical 9 to 5 job, the former Silver Fern and current National Selector was occupying benches as a coach for various professional netball sides. Amongst the highlights of Gail’s career was qualifying the Scotland national netball team (The Scottish Thistles) to two Netball World Cups and two Commonwealth Games.

Gail spent six years in Glasgow revamping their set-up which saw the Thistles jump from 13th to 8th in the world rankings. She also completed a Masters in the Science of Performance Coaching at the University of Stirling alongside her coaching.

At the end of 2019, Gail and her whānau decided to call time on their stay in the UK and returned to Aotearoa. The move allowed her daughter, Alexi, to stay settled for high school as well as getting them closer to their loved ones.

Email Gail

Richard Pollock


Richard Pollock – Policy Adviser

Richard is a welcome addition to the NZMT waka and has assumed the role of Policy Advisor. The former public servant has recently returned from Suzhou, China, where he informally supported ‘Brand’ New Zealand in China and volunteered to tutor young learners and adults to learn basic English.

Richard’s early career started in the UK Civil Service, before packing up his life and relocating in Aotearoa. It was upon settling into his new home in Wellington that his career in the New Zealand government began.

Amongst his many areas of expertise is policy and strategy development, with a particular interest in Māori policy development and promoting Māori economic development. This was best exemplified when he worked on strategies and initiatives to increase Māori business engagement with the China export market. Richard gained a Master of Public Policy from Te Herenga Waka (Victoria University of Wellington).

Richard also has a passion for travelling, which has seen him touch down in the likes of India, USA, Canada, UAE, and Singapore to name a few. When he’s not exploring foreign lands or flicking through policy though, chances are he’s keeping up with the latest political news or enjoying good cinematography.

Email Richard

Jordan King


Jordan King – Communications Lead

Ngā Ruāhine, Te Aitanga ā Hauiti

Jordan joins NZMT fresh off his first role in the public sector working for MBIE. The Wellingtonian left university with the hopes of becoming a sports journalist and ended up at Basketball New Zealand helping run their communications.

Despite not being raised in te ao Māori or around te reo, he has always had a keen interest in his Māoritanga and felt a special connection when working on projects that involved his people.
Jordan takes over the reins in the communications space where he will be helping manage everything from stakeholder engagement to social media and marketing.

Outside the office you’ll probably find him exercising or taking in some form of sports content.

Email Jordan



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