New Zealand, Tuaropaki Trust
Ms. Mereaira Jones is a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. She has worked for McCaw Lewis Lawyers, a Māori commercial and property law firm in Hamilton, New Zealand. She focuses on dispute resolution and indigenous legal issues. Her core areas of work include Treaty Settlement, Māori land law, Waitangi Tribunal and Resource Management. Mereaira gained a Bachelor’s degree in Law with a minor in Te Reo and Tikanga Māori at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. She also completed her professional legal studies at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, New Zealand.
Ms. Peta Ruha has been a Registered Nurse for 25 years and specializes in Maori Mental Health. She has worked in 25 different mental health sectors and recently returned to Kawerau, the community where she was brought up. She currently manages an NGO in Kawerau as the clinical manager. She is driven by a desire to give back to the whanau, namely her six nephews who are battling methamphetamine addiction. Through the whanau ora hikoi she and community have managed to address a range of inter-generational cycles of abuse. As a mother of five children she has raised her children through home-schooling teachings and the Kura Kaupapa Movement ensuring her children are fluent first language speakers of Te Reo Maori. Her writings focus on capturing the past six years of her work in Kawerau in suicide prevention and post-vention, with a specific focus on the role whanau play in suicide, titled “whanau champion transformative praxis”. She is currently a Awanuiarangi Student, completing her third year of her PhD writings in philosophy of Indigenous studies.