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About Us

Pakihi Ora, the newly formed Māori Business Rōpū, stands as a whare of empowerment, unity, and unwavering support for ngā pakihi Māori. Established in the year 2022, Pakihi Ora emerged with a profound mission: to foster growth, connection and networking among Māori-owned enterprises nestled within the vibrant landscapes of Rotorua and the captivating realm of Waiariki.

At the heart of Pakihi Ora beats the essence of Māori values, knowledge, and cultural practices, which form the tāhūhū of our purpose. We are steadfastly committed to curating spaces that not only embrace, but also uplift the mana of all who enter. Nestled within the whare, Māori business owners find solace in the knowledge that their journeys are intertwined, and their aspirations are fueled by the radiant power of mātauranga.

Pakihi Ora is a sanctuary of connection, where the threads of entrepreneurship intertwine, and the tapestry of collaboration is woven. It serves as a haven for Māori business owners, a sanctuary where the spirit of whanaungatanga flourishes. Here, pakihi can forge deep connections, share wisdom, and embark on transformative ventures hand in hand. Together, we navigate the vast ocean of possibilities, drawing strength from the deep wellsprings of our collective heritage.

As we move forward, Pakihi Ora remains steadfast in its dedication to cultivating an ecosystem that nurtures, uplifts, and amplifies Māori enterprises. We strive to empower entrepreneurs to embrace their cultural identity unapologetically, infusing their businesses with the essence of mātauranga pakihi, mātauranga māori and the brilliance of tikanga Māori. In doing so, we honor the legacy of our ancestors, rejuvenate our communities, and illuminate pathways to prosperity.

With open hearts and minds, Pakihi Ora extends its embrace to all Māori business owners, inviting them to join our vibrant whānau, to embark on a collective journey towards prosperity, and to thrive in the boundless tapestry of opportunities that lie ahead. Together, we will shape a future where Māori entrepreneurship flourishes, igniting a beacon of hope and resilience that will inspire generations to come.

Nga Uara

Our Values

Te Ohu Whakahaere

Our Leadership Team

Tiare Teepa


Tiare Teepa - Tumuaki

Ngai Tūhoe

Tihei Mauri Ora. Ko Tiare Teepa tōku ingoa. He Tuhoe ahau. Nō Ruatoki. As the tumuaki of a Māori business network that embraces te ao māori, my role is to lead, represent, and advocate for the māori businesses.

I drive the strategic direction, foster relationships with stakeholders, uphold te reo Māori and tikanga Māori, and champion the interests of Māori businesses.

I strive to create a culturally rich and supportive environment where Māori entrepreneurship thrives and our community's aspirations are realized. He mana nui tōku ki te whakawhanake i te mīhana o tō tātou kaupapa whakaora ai i ngā pakihi māori.

Aroha Dorset

Tumuaki Tuarua

Aroha Dorset - Tumuaki Tuarua

Ngāi Tūhoe, Rongowhakaata

Tēnā koutou katoa. Ko Aroha Dorset tōkū ingoa.

I am an experienced business owner and community leader with a deep passion for supporting Indigenous communities. My background is rooted in business ownership, and I have extensive experience working with iwi owned organizations. Over the past five years, I have actively served on various boards, contributing my knowledge and insight to benefit these organizations and the communities they represent.

In addition to my business endeavors, I have also played a significant role in the non-profit sector. I have established several organizations dedicated to supporting Māori business owners, whanau, and tamariki, and I take pride in ensuring their effectiveness and sustainability.

My commitment to supporting Māori and Indigenous communities has led me to take on the role of Aotearoa Lead for INDIGI-X. This organization focuses on connecting Indigenous changemakers worldwide, fostering collaboration, and driving economic growth.

I am driven by a desire to make a positive impact and empower Indigenous communities, and I strive to use my skills and experiences to contribute meaningfully to their advancement.

Tarraleigh Teepa


Tarraleigh Teepa - Hekeretari

Ngāti Uenukukōpako, Ngāti Hauora, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue

Tēnā koutou katoa. Ko Tarraleigh Teepa tōku ingoa. I extend my warm greetings to you all. I am the hēkeretari for Pakihi Ora. As I share a bit about myself, you'll discover that my journey has been deeply intertwined within the education sector.

With a background rooted in education, I bring a unique perspective to my role. I have had the privilege of being trained as both a primary and secondary kaiako (teacher). These experiences have equipped me with a diverse set of skills that extend beyond the realm of the classroom and into the bustling world of business administration. These skills acquired from my teaching career have seamlessly transitioned into the business realm, allowing me to contribute my expertise to the flourishing endeavors of Pakihi Ora.

I believe that my passion for education intertwines harmoniously with the mission of Pakihi Ora. By applying my educational background to the realm of business, I have the opportunity to empower others and contribute to the growth and success of Māori-owned enterprises. It is a privilege to be part of a collective effort that fosters connections, supports business owners, and promotes the prosperity of our community. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve and lend my skills to Pakihi Ora, as we collectively strive for excellence, innovation, and the enhancement of Māori business ventures. E mihi ana.

Tia Smith


Tia Smith - Kaiwhakangahau

Ngāti Kearoa, Ngāti Tuara, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Rakaipaaka

Tēnā koutou katoa. Ko Tia Smith tōku ingoa

My background is in Major Event Management, and I have had the opportunity to work across the world supporting the delivery of events such as the Commonwealth Games, FIFA World Cup, and the organization of iconic events like Te Matatini and several Music Festivals.

I transferred my skills to TV Production, where I now work on productions with the intent of telling our stories, Māori stories. Currently, I hold the position of Production Manager for a TV series called Home, Land & Sea. It's a ten-part factual series that aims to highlight the farming successes and challenges of whānau, hapū, and iwi.

I am deeply committed to making a significant impact in advancing the prosperity of Māori businesses across Rotorua.

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