Sir Mark Solomon

Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kurī

Sir Mark Wiremu Solomon KNZM is widely known for his commitment and contribution to his iwi and the broader well-being of all New Zealanders and the environment. In addition, he is recognised for the attention he has brought to addressing family violence.

Mark worked for over twenty years as a foundry metal worker before being elected Chair of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the tribal council of Ngāi Tahu, in 1998. Mark spent 18 years leading Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu and helped transform it into an economic powerhouse with more than $1.5 billion in assets.

During this time, his contributions were diverse and significant, ranging from fostering educational opportunities for young Māori to taking a strong stance against whānau violence. Sir Mark has led hui across Te Waipounamu, the South Island, spreading a message to stop violence within homes.

As a strong advocate of the Māori economy, Mark was instrumental in setting up the Iwi Chairs Forum in 2005 and was an original member of the Māori Economic Taskforce established in 2009. Mark was named the 'Visionary Leader of 2012' in the Deloitte and New Zealand Management Magazine National Business Awards.

In the 2013 New Year Honours, Mark was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and business. This knighting was in recognition of his work for Ngāi Tahu.

In 2015, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Te Whare Wānanga O Aoraki Lincoln University as a Doctor of Natural Resources, recognising his enduring interest and concern for the natural environment.

As part of Mark's own leadership, he has spoken about the need to consider a much wider range of what leadership should be. To him, leadership is about "empowering our people – allowing them the space to identify their own needs and the time to come up with their own way of addressing those needs, to improve their lives". In addition, he states that leadership should be ever-changing and evolving and that the younger generation is taught to be well-educated leaders.



He Rangatira Our Leaders

Tia Haira

Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Tūhourangi, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Rangiteaorere

Tia Haira is a biomedical scientist specialising in chemical genetics, immunology, and biobanks within mātauranga Māori and western science systems.

Tracee Te Huia

Te Pōpoto, Uri Taniwha, Ngāti Rehia, Ngāti Kapotai ngā hapū Ngapuhi te Iwi He whāngai hoki ahau ki Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga

Tracee Te Huia has an explicit knowledge and understanding of the health and social atrocities related to Maori in Aotearoa.

Danielle McEachen

Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe, Kāi Tahu

Danielle works with key stakeholders to create opportunities for Māori with lived experience to initiate and lead change at local, regional, and national levels.

Phyllis Tangitu

Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Haua

It is my pleasure to write in support of one of the most thoughtful, kind leaders that I met in my working life.