Mara has many years of experience associated with indigenous development across a variety of sectors. After an extensive public sector career including stints with the Department of Māori Affairs, Māori Land Court, Māori Trust Office and the Health Funding Authority (HFA), Mara moved on to set up Kāhui Tautoko Consulting Ltd (NZ) in 2000. In 2008, she successfully opened another office in Canada, where she and her team have worked to support indigenous people across North America for the last ten years. In 2017 they opened their subsidiary office in Hawai’i. She is also now completing her PhD with Massey University on Tribal Self-Governance in Health Care in the United States of America.
Humble, intelligent, thoughtful, loyal and a work engine not many can match, Mara is one of the truly unsung indigenous health leaders whose impact spans the globe. Mara has built up a formidable reputation for the work she has done providing advice to indigenous organisations and government agencies on indigenous development, particularly in the area of indigenous health. With humble beginnings in Aotearoa, Kāhui Tautoko has worked with communities and governments in Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Hawai'i, Alaska, and throughout America and Canada. Under Mara’s leadership, Kāhui Tautoko has retained an unwavering commitment to their kaupapa Māori roots, and role modelled beautifully how strong cultural foundations lay the platform for modern indigenous success and wellbeing.
With all the success and adventures that Mara has had, she still has her feet firmly on the ground and maintains a strong presence through her ability to connect with all people at eye level (figuratively speaking, she’s pretty short). Never one to trumpet her own horn, the scale of her impact and the depth of her manaakitanga to indigenous peoples around the world, remain largely unknown. But talk to any indigenous leader or community that Mara has worked with, and you will quickly get a sense of how special she truly is.
Links to her profile
List of current projects
News article about Mara
Cain Kerehoma, Ngāti Raukawa, Muaupoko, Ngāti Toarangatira, Director, Kia Ora Consulting