Climate Connect Aotearoa
Our Team

In part of an ongoing series we meet the team behind Climate Connect Aotearoa. Meet Waimarama Hawke: Climate Innovation Advisor - Māori.

Waimarama Hawke

Iwi: Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Maniapoto 

Tell us about your role with Climate Connect Aotearoa? 

As the Climate Innovation Advisor Māori at Climate Connect Aotearoa, I am responsible for amplifying Māori voices in climate innovation spaces and ensuring that Te Ao Māori values and perspectives are central in our efforts to fostering an equitable, climate resilient and low carbon Tāmaki Makaurau.

How did you arrive at a career in climate action? 

As tangata whenua in Tāmaki Makaurau – I have a personal responsibility to look after our whenua, our wai and our taonga. I want to support a balanced, reciprocal relationship between the taiao and those who call Auckland City their home. Working in climate action is something that feels natural, and it is where I believe I can create meaningful change for our environment and the generations to come.

What’s one thing you hope to achieve through Climate Connect Aotearoa? 

I hope to create spaces for Māori voices, stories, and narratives that are unique to Tāmaki Makaurau and Aotearoa. I am committed to empowering iwi kāinga and mana whenua as leaders in climate justice and supporting their right to shaping their relationship with the taiao.

What drives you to do this mahi?   

The example of my ancestors – and a commitment to my mokopuna.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I am passionate about storytelling and love to write – in particular, I enjoy articulating the experiences of change makers, indigenous and wāhine through critical essays and thought pieces. I have been a haka performer for 15+ years and on the weekends, you can find me at wānanga with my kapa, Te Waka Huia.

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