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New Māori rep for Bay of Connections

New Māori rep for Bay of Connections

The Bay of Connections has appointed Dr Riri Ellis as the new Māori Representative on its Governance Group.

Dr Ellis joins Anthony Olsen on the group as its second Māori Business Representative. She is currently the chair of the Māori Advisory Group, established by the Bay of Connections to guide and support the implementation of the Māori Economic Development Strategy, He Mauri Ohooho. The Strategy was launched in February this year.

The Bay of Connections is a regional growth strategy covering Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Taupo, in partnership with the Bay of Plenty Council, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the region’s economic development agencies.

Governance Group chair, Doug Leeder, says Dr Ellis’ appointment complements and builds on the group’s overall direction and the opportunities it is striving to create in the Bay of Plenty region.

“Dr Ellis has a background in management, marketing and Māori resource management. She brings with her a passion for contributing to hapū and iwi development in a range of different areas and we look forward to working with her on the strategic development of our region.”

Dr Ellis was the treaty settlement manager throughout the Ngai Te Rangi iwi treaty claim, resulting in a settlement package valued in the vicinity of $32 million. She is currently the longest-serving trustee of the Matapihi-based Ngai Tukairangi Trust, one of the most productive kiwifruit orchards in Māori ownership, and is the interim manager of its investment arm, Tukairangi Investments. She is also the executive member for Mātaatau with the federation of Māori Authorities.

Dr Ellis’ role on both the Governance Group and Māori Advisory Group ensures the voice of Māori and Māori economic aspirations are represented across the region.

“I am excited to be involved in such a forward thinking role and expect to see progress being made within the Bay of Plenty Region as a result of the commitment to the focused Māori economic strategy.

“The calibre of the advisory team members is exceptional. Not only are they highly skilled, they are well connected to a raft of successful Māori entities and incorporations through the Bay of Plenty and across the country.”

The Māori Advisory Group was established in February and consists of nine members who meet quarterly. The focus of the group is to identify priorities for implementation, and targeting and understanding activities that will accelerate growth and have the most impact on the success of the Māori Economic Development Strategy. The group will also provide direction on the allocation of resources and what it should be leveraging to achieve its strategic goals.

For more information on the Bay of Connections or the Māori Economic Development Strategy, visit


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