Tricia Keelan

Ngāti Porou, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kahungungu, Rongomaiwahine

Tricia wants to see eyes, hearts and minds open to the potential of Aotearoa as a Tiriti o Waitangi led nation. Like her ancestors before her, she is a wayfinder, Toki mareikura and champion for the achievement of Pae Ora. Tricia invests her energy in work that she believes will positively impact for current and future generations. She believes that wairuatanga is the most potent cornerstone of Pae Ora and looks forward to more of our people re-instating kawa oranga and tikanga ora in our most sacred moments and everyday lives. Tricia says:

My tūpuna, Enoka Te Potae Aute signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a rangatira of Ngāti Porou. I think about his expectations and dreams for his people, and, also the calamities he sought to avoid when he agreed to a partnership with the British Crown. As a mokopuna and descendant I feel that I have a responsibility to seek justice on his behalf, for my children, and, for our people now and in the future.

Tricia is in Executive leadership at the Bay of Plenty District Health Board. She has worked in every part of the health system including Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry of Health, Parliament, Hauora Māori service provision, District Health Boards, and Primary Health Organisations. She has a degree in Public Policy, a Master of Business Administration, Te Pinakitanga ki te reo Kairangi and is currently studying for a PhD in Tangata Whenua Development with Massey University.  

Tricia ascribes her drive and determination to her whānau and most of all her parents who have mentored, guided, and challenged her throughout her life. Her father Wikepa Keelan (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine) has had substantial influence in Māori Health development over the past 30 years, and, her mother Tricia Bobbette - Keelan (Te Aupouri) was a positive force in Mental Health. For Tricia, growing up in a loving whānau has shaped her desire to achieve the potential instilled within her whakapapa and to leave a legacy for her mokopuna. In her words:

I was a whāngai, my great grandparents Karauria Keelan (Ngāti Porou) and Tū o te riri Campbell (Rongomaiwahine) raised my father and also raised me as a pēpi. Papa was full of wisdom; nanny was full of aroha. Although my parents have had amazing careers, they also deftly mentored all three of their children to follow their passion. I have two brothers: Bill is a full Colonel in the NZ army, and Taina is a renowned and award-winning musician.

Working towards restoring balance and mana to tangata whenua are trademarks of Tricia’s presence in any kaupapa. Tricia is grateful for the support of Upokotea, her husband of 25 years. Her children are her inspiration. Her best work is to come. She encourages us all to invest in ourselves and others toward our re-indigenisation. In the words of Sir Apirana Ngata – e tipu e rea (grow up and thrive).

The Tumu Whakarae Submission to the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction:

https://www.bopdhb.govt.nz/māori-health/māori-health-gain-and-development/

Profile By

Riki Nia Nia, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahungunu, Tonga, General Manager of Māori Health, Auckland and Waitemata District Health Boards

Jodi Porter, Ngāi Tai, Te Whakatohea, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Director Poutokomanawa Consulting.

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