Toi Mai Workforce Development Council celebrates appointment of Tama Kirikiri as Poumatua and Deputy Chief Executive

Co-chairs of the Toi Mai Workforce Development Council welcome the appointment of Tama Kirikiri, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Konohi, Ngāti Rākaipaaka, Kāi Tahu as Poumatua and Deputy Chief Executive of Toi Mai.

As Poumatua, Tama will lead the articulation of a collective Māori voice to achieve the greatest impact for the Creative, Cultural, Technology and Recreation industries. He will also support the vocational education and training sectors to deliver equitable outcomes for Māori. In addition, Tama will build a culture of partnership capability across the Toi Mai organisation structure, supporting the Chief Executive and Toi Mai Council to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi in all facets of Toi Mai’s strategy and operations.

Tama is a proud practitioner of tikanga Māori, with extensive experience in the primary, vocational and university sectors and the creative industries. He comes to the role from Massey University’s Tātai Angitu where he has been Kaihautū Mātauranga Māori – Māori Education Leader – since 2016. During this time he was also Co-chair of Te Māngai Whakangungu Kaiako o Aotearoa – the Professional Learning Association New Zealand – whose focus is to promote excellence in professional learning and development in kura and schools.

Co-Chairs Rhonda Kite and Victoria Spackman said: “We are excited to have Tama on the team. The seniority of his appointment underpins our commitment to improving opportunities and outcomes for Māori business owners and learners in the vocational education system. Tama and Claire Robinson, our Chief Executive, are passionate about our industries and both have track records for improving equity – together they are going to be fantastic leaders for Toi Mai WDC.”

In response Tama said: “Toi Mai has important mahi to do. I am looking forward to engaging with Māori business owners and prioritising our efforts to support them. I am motivated by the challenge of helping to bring about positive change to the way vocational education is delivered in Aotearoa, with a particular focus on helping more tauira Māori to be successful as Māori in their chosen vocation.”

Tama joins Toi Mai WDC on 15 November 2021.

Tama Kirikiri

Tama Kirikiri was previously Kaihautū Mātauranga Māori – Māori Education Leader at Tātai Angitu a professional learning and development provider for Te Kura o Te Mātauranga – Institute of Education at Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa – Massey University. He is a proud practitioner of tikanga Māori that underpins his very existence. Widespread use of te reo Māori and kaupapa Māori typifies his approach to everyday life and are the foundation of who he is and what he stands for.

Tama has an undergraduate degree and honours in Te Reo Māori from Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington and a Diploma in Primary Teaching from the Wellington College of Education.