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Announcing Traci Houpapa’s Appointment To The SfTI Board

Traci Houpapa (Waikato Maniapoto, Taranaki, Tūwharetoa) MNZM JP joins the Science for Technological Innovation (SfTI) National Science Challenge Board.

SfTI is pleased to announce Traci Houpapa appointment to its Board: “Traci is a well-known and a highly respected Māori leader. It is an honour to welcome her to our Board with the wealth of expertise and knowledge she brings, along with her strong relationships with Māori, iwi and business sectors,” says John Bongard ONZM, CRSNZ and inaugural SfTI Board Chair.

Traci is committed to encouraging and promoting Māori participation and leadership in agribusiness technology development. She has been an avid supporter of the Science for Technological Innovation (SfTI) National Science Challenge as part of her leadership role at FOMA, and SfTI has benefited considerably from FOMA’s commitment to this relationship.

In her SfTI governance role, she will continue to support SfTI to realise its mission to grow a hi-tech Aotearoa New Zealand economy via physical sciences and engineering research.

Traci says, “I am committed to growing and strengthening the Māori economy - to see Māori leading and using future technology to diversify our agribusiness products and asset base, and to see our rangatahi participating and leading in Māori innovation and enterprise. My role on the Board will be to advocate for and spot future growth opportunities for Māori business within the technology sector. I’m excited about joining the SfTI board and working with the SfTI team.”

John Bongard says “The modern Māori economy has an increasing influence on Aotearoa’s wellbeing and economy. Traci will add enormous value to SfTI; she brings a fresh perspective, broad governance experience, understanding of the Māori economy, unique insights into government, as well as extensive business and industry savvy.”

Traci joins Board Chair John Bongard – retired CEO and Managing Director of Fisher and Paykel; professional Director and chair of Agri-Women’s Development Trust Linda Cooper; technology executive Gottfried Pausch and Kat Lintott (Ngāi Tahu) co-founder of creative agency Wrestler.

Board member Craig Ellison, Chair of Ngāi Tahu Seafood departed the board in late 2019 to take up a full-time executive role as COO of Ngāi Tahu Holdings.

About Traci Houpapa

Traci Houpapa, Chair FOMA Federation of Māori Authorities and National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women and Co-chair Indigenous Women’s Business Network, is an award winning company director and recognised business leader.

Background to the Science for Technological Innovation Challenge (SfTI)

The 11 National Science Challenges (NSCs) were established in 2014 and aim to tackle the biggest science-based issues and opportunities facing Aotearoa New Zealand. They bring together our top scientists to work collaboratively to achieve their objectives.

Overseen by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the NSCs are a core part of the NZ government’s investment in science, with just over $680 million of funding over 10 years.

The Science for Technological Innovation Challenge (SfTI), launched in 2015, is one of 11 National Science Challenges. SfTI is a 10-year (2014-24), multi-million dollar Government investment whose mission is to grow a hi-tech Aotearoa New Zealand economy via the physical sciences and engineering.

The SfTI challenge is generously hosted by Callaghan Innovation.

Learn more about SfTI:

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