Our Team

Eruera Tarena

Setting the course (navigator) and bringing together the right team to take the kaupapa forward.

Kaihautū – Executive Director

Ngāi Tahu (Ngāi Tūāhuriri), Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-a-Apanui

Super power: Can see beyond what is into the future and what could be. This means my focus is always on designing from the future rather than being constrained by the present. I can also see the super powers of others to form teams to tackle any challenge. Cool tricks include collecting ideas and then mixing them together to create new solutions (e.g. te reo + systems thinking, iwi development + collective impact).

What I love most about my role: The opportunity to apply my superpowers to a kaupapa dear to my heart – making a future where all our tamariki thrive. I am motivated by the ability to make a difference and enjoy the fact things are constantly changing so I never have to do the same thing twice (something that drives me mad).


Ariana Te Whetu

Setting the course (navigator) and bringing together the right team to take the kaupapa forward.


Ngāi Tūhoe

Super power: I see through complexities to identify solutions. I recognise the superpowers in others and how they can relate to solving problems collectively.

What I love most about my role: 

Porsha London

I support the social innovators, project co-coordinators and designers to work together toward common goals, sharing the learning journey while building tangible next steps and evaluative capability.

Developmental Elevator Lead

Ngāti Pākehā

Super power: Hyper-Threading. This means I can organise and understand information quickly and when needed translate theory to practice and vice-versa.

What I love most about my role: Facilitating ah-ha moments and supporting others to gather, interpret and build evidence to continue their amazing social innovations that are most needed in our local and global community.  


Jo Aldridge

I work alongside the team contributing my experience and knowledge to help advance our important kaupapa.

MSD secondment

Ngāti Pākehā

Super power: I have a love for action (evidenced by my rally car days, parachuting and as a sprint boat naviagator) this can be tranformed into bringing action to our mahi. I love translating strategic directions into on the ground activity.

What I love most about my mahi: I relish the opportuntiy that has been gifted to me at Tokona Te Raki, as it aligns with my “why” – seeing rangitahi prosper and having every opportuntiy to realise their potential.

Harmony King-Te Raki

I shadow Eru in the work he does and help with whānau innovation and event/project management.


Ngāi Tahu, TeAti Haunui a Paparangi, Samoan

Super power: other than drinking coffee, my super power is that I am good with rangatahi and make it easy for them to be able to connect with me.

What I love most about my role: Other than having a strong and supportive team, I am learning a lot of new skills and the work we are doing is focused on rangatahi and their future mahi. Also hearing peoples stories is something I love because that means we can identify what some of the problems are and work on ways to make things better.

Piripi 2

Piripi Prendergast

I bring people together around the table so we can fit the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together to create a rosy future.


Ngāti Pākehā

Super power: Ahakoa he tangata humārie au,I can bake a mean croissant – and lots of them!

What I love most about my mahi: The opportunity to create opportunities for whānau.

Maui Brennan

My role is to translate data insights and strategies so that whānau can implement them in their everyday lives.

Project Facilitator-Intern

Ngāi Tahu (Ngāi Tūāhuriri), Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Super power: I am passionate about empowering others through the use of information and leveraging the diverse expertise within and outside the Tokona Te Raki team. It takes more than one individual to solve a complex problem. The opportunity to approach a problem as a collective gives me the motivation to tackle the issues that we want to solve.

What I love most about my role: Working with a diverse set of people on a range of different projects. It is an amazing opportunity for personal growth and for completing complex projects that will ultimately help our future rangatahi.

Staff Photo

Mathias Pitama

Jay Hepi

I mentor to inspire and develop influential kaimahi in the trades as they create their work and life experiences.

He Toki Ki Te Mahi Trust Mentor

Waikato/ Maniapoto – Ngaati Mahuta ki te Hauauru, Te Āti Haunui ā Pāpārangi – Ngā Paerangi, Kāi Tahu – Kāti Wheke

Super power: I have a knack of finding connections with people whether through whakapapa, work, sport or social networks. I enjoy connecting people I know have expertise with those who are looking for particular skills in a certain area.

What I love most about my role: Supporting whānau on their journey wherever they are heading. Developing talent helps ignite my passion.

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