Donna-Jean Tairi-Ngata was raised in Lake Rotoiti, Rotorua and acknowledges her hononga and also her late husband’s Hone Ngata and son’s Ruatepupuke Iwi of Ngati Porou and Tauranga Moana. She has worked and lived in Auckland for 14 years which has opened her eyes to diversity and has worked amongst some of the most passionate and resilient communities. She is grateful for the balance of the rural and city life.
In early 2019, Donna-Jean was recognised as one of the guest speakers of a youth workers panel at the South Auckland Youth Network Symposium for her contribution to youth and community work.
Her experience extends across Māori health, public health, community action, youth development, social services and short stint in HR. With impactful exprience in project management, community engagement, event coordination, and learning and development, Donna-Jean has also contributed to building culturally-confident and responsive organisations.
Donna-Jean holds a Diploma in Health Promotion and in 2020 has been accepted into the Masters of Indigenous and Māori Leadership with Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies – University of Canterbury. She has been a guest speaker at the University of New Mexico in 2014 and also at Healing Our Spirits in Hawaii 2011.
Donna-Jean enjoys catching many sunrises and sunsets on her walking ventures with her fur baby and turning up to the start and finish lines on long distant walks or marathons nationally and internationally. Donna-Jean is a kapahaka performer and together with her late husband contributed time and energy to the growth of New Zealand music and the Aotearoa hip hop culture as passionate artists.
Donna-Jean is a mother, kapahaka performer and dog owner and enjoys travelling, music and a good dance. She loves a good kai of boilup and kaimoana.