Di Grennell

Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri, Ngāi Tahu

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini.

My achievement is not that of the individual but the contributions of many.

Grandmother, mareikura, aunty, wife, mum, daughter, friend, wahine Māori .... are just some of the many roles that Di values, prioritises and exemplifies as a Māori woman.

Di is a woman of integrity, reliable and totally dependable.  Relationships are very important to Di and therefore a strong foundation for the way she interacts and behaves as a leader. The relational nature of her leadership ensures that she is considered and intentional in her interactions making sure people are cared for in that process both professional and personal. Tika, pono and aroha underpin her work, especially when she has challenging decisions to make or actions to take. 

Di’s committment and belief in the strength and capability of the whānau collective provide a deep source of motivation as a recognised leader and advocate for whānau wellbeing. Her extensive contribution over many years where she has worked, promoted, researched and written about tikanga approaches to violence prevention have contributed to the Māori and indigenous discourse in this field. 

Her leadership in iwi and community action strategies against whānau violence have challenged western paradigms to create space for Māori collective, strengths based, tikanga ways of analysing, addressing and restoring the impacts of violence. She was a strong advocate for these approaches to be recognised in a mainstream context and their potential are only just being realised and actualised. This was internationally affirmed when work under her leadership was awarded the Annual Human Rights Prize for its innovative approach to addressing domestic violence from the Leitner Centre, New York.   

Di continues to strive to advance the hopes and dreams of our Māori nation so that the transformative potential of mokopuna can be realised for the generations to come.  


Profile By

Dr Moana Eruera

He Rangatira Our Leaders

Willie Jackson

Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Porou

Willie Jackson comes from a renowned family of activists who have worked tirelessly to advance the rights of poorly paid workers while exposing social injustice on many levels, using Māori matters as a touch stone.

Jude Porteous


Jude Porteous is passionate about supporting those struggling with mental health using therapy supported by nature and animals.

Te Puea Winiata

Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi te Rangi, Ngāi Tamarāwaho, Tūhoe, Tainui

Te Puea Winiata is an influential Māori woman, whose leadership gives hope and inspiration for us all to improve, advocate and promote Māori health and wellbeing.

Dr Dianne Wepa

Ngāti Kahungunu

He toka tūmoana he ākinga nā ngā tai

A standing rock in the sea, lashed by the tides (Kawharu, 2008)