Tairāwhiti Local Advisory Committee

Tairāwhiti Local Advisory Committee - mihi mai rā.


Read more about the members of the Tairāwhiti Local Advisory Committee.


Georgina joins the Tairāwhiti Local Advisory Committee with significant governance experience across charities and government, a degree in business, and Not-for-Profit Management. Her whakapapa connects to Ngāti Porou, Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Mutunga ki Wharekauri, Tainui, Maniapoto. She now shares her time between various contracted roles with Iwi, a local winery, and in the community as Chair of the Consumer Council at Tairāwhiti District Health Board. She was previous Vice Chair with Alzheimer’s Tairawhiti and remains an active Justice of the Peace within the Tairāwhiti region. She is focused on community wellbeing and their aspirations. Georgina serves as a Justice of the Peace, and whanau advocate, which maintains her link to the wider Tairāwhiti community.


Christopher’s whakapapa connects him to Te Whānau ā Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga-a Mahaki. He wears many hats in the Tairāwhiti community and has embedded himself in several community projects since 2016. Current voluntary roles include the Chaplain for St John Ambulance and a priest in the Māori Anglican Church. He is currently a Teaching Fellow and PhD student at Otago University and a Kaiwhakaako at Te Rau Theological College. Deeply immersed in Te Reo me ona Tikanga, Christopher was previously a Vicar and Missioner for Te Hui Amorangi ki te Manawa o te Wheke, the Tauranga Moana Māori Mission, where he managed a large geographic area.

Joelene is Te Whanau a Apanui, Ngati Porou and Whakatohea. She is currently part of the National Contact Tracing Team for the Ministry of Health COVID 19 response and spent over a decade employed by the Tairawhiti District Health before starting her own practice as a Clinical Hypnotherapist. Her passion for the community led her to governance roles in a number of community organisations and saw Joelene become Co-Founder of Feed Tairawhiti.
Alice is 21 years old and has a passion for helping her community. From a young age she has been volunteering with not for profit organisations in her community. In 2017, she was a Kiwibank Local Hero and at the age of 16, Alice was nominated for Young New Zealander of the Year. Working in her community she has seen the need for grassroots technology assistance. Alice started her own business 'Ask Alice' in September 2020, with the aim of making the community a better place through the power of technology.
Donette is currently living in Gisborne while on a one-year contract with Hauora Tairāwhiti to support Maori into the health workforce and upskill existing employees within the DHB and upon completion, will return to Ruatoria, where she still owns a café. She is Ngati Porou and passionate about supporting local communities. With her extensive background in education, Donette is a rumaki reo tutor for year 1, 2 and 3 trainee teachers. She is a trustee for Popoti Ahuwhenua.


Hikihiki’s whakapapa extends to all four marae in Tokomaru Bay. She has recently retired after 19 years working for the District Health Board as a clinical dietitian. Much of her work had been assisting Māori and community groups in Tairāwhiti to develop healthy eating policies and practices in marae, schools, kōhanga reo, sports teams and clubs. Hiki also provided clinics and home visits to those with diabetes, co-ordinated through Ngāti Porou Hauora. Additionally, she held roles as a Professional Practice Fellow and Advanced Learning Dietetic Tutor for Otago University.

Hiki was recently appointed as Deputy Programme Lead in the Tairāwhiti Interprofessional Education Programme by Otago University, based at Hauora Tairāwhiti in Gisborne.

She brings significant governance experience from various roles held in the health sector and is a keen and active member of the Tokomaru Bay community.


Midge brings significant leadership and governance experience to the Tairāwhiti LAC. She recently held a role as Company Director of Tihi Innovation Limited and was a Board Trustee for Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Whatatutu. A community leader, Midge is currently the Chairperson of the Mangatū Māori Women’s Welfare League Branch, is actively involved in Te Hāhi Wairua Tapu at Mangatū Marae, a branch of Te Hāhi Ringatū, and is also the marae trustee for Mangatū Marae and Te Kumi Marae in Te Kūiti. Midge has also delivered courses in money management, small business, and project management over the past five years.

The map below shows the area that the Tairāwhiti LAC covers (shown in dark blue).