Māori Cultural Advisory Group


The purpose of the Māori Cultural Board Advisory Sub-Committee is to:

  • Provide advice to the NZDSN Board on te reo and tikanga Māori
  • Support NZDSN with tikanga Māori practices and te reo Māori translations
  • Provide comment and recommendations on matters of NZDSN policy and practice to improve cultural responsiveness to Māori
  • Support and strengthen engagement between NZDSN members and mana whenua in their respective regions
  • Build the knowledge of the needs of Māori staff and clients within the NZDSN membership and how these needs can best be met

The group is an advisory committee that can make recommendations to NZDSN, but does not have decision making authority.


Members are required to:

  • Attend bi-monthly advisory committee meetings regularly via VCR and/or telephone (NB the VCR will be provided, without fee, by Te Roopu Taurima in Whangarei, Auckland, Waikato and Rangiora)
  • Work on project teams and/or working groups between meetings
  • Feed information from the advisory committee to their networks and bring Māori issues and ideas to the Advisory committee
  • Assist NZDSN to canvas Māori views from the NZDSN membership
  • Members will be expected to be prepared and on time for meetings
  • Cover their own costs for participating in the advisory committee


The Advisory Committee will comprise of a maximum of six members from within NZDSN, including a board appointed convener who shall also be a current board member or will be appointed as co-opted.

Members need to:

  • be conversant with the tikanga of their Iwi
  • have a working knowledge of te reo Māori
  • have the ability to work with other people and work in a team
  • demonstrate leadership
  • be proactive
  • be committed to attending meetings regularly
  • be nominated by the CEO of their disability support organisation.

It is expected that the membership will provide broad representation, with consideration given to:

  • gender
  • age
  • lived experience of an impairment
  • geographical location
  • type of disability sector knowledge and experience


The NZDSN Board will appoint a Chair and Deputy Chair.

The role of the Chair is to:

  • work with the Advisory committee to compile the agenda
  • run the meeting according to the set agenda
  • take notes at all meetings, type notes and distribute meeting notes within one week of the advisory committee meetings
  • let all members know of up and coming events and meetings
  • facilitate the development and implementation of the advisory committee’s annual workplan
  • Liaise with the NZDSN Kaumatua for his/her input as required

In the absence of the Chair, the Deputy Chair will run the meeting.


If an advisory committee member misses more than three meetings in a row without providing an apology, their membership on the advisory committee will cease.

Selection Process

The Chair of the Advisory Committee will call for expressions of interest NZDSN member organisations.

Members from NZDSN organisations interested in participating will be asked to complete an application.

Term of Appointment

Any person appointed to the Advisory Committee shall be appointed for two years.

If an advisory committee member resigns during the year, the advisory committee is able to co-opt new members for the remainder of the year.

The Māori Cultural Advisory Committee

We are currently seeking nominations for committee members to sit on the Māori Cultural Advisory Sub-Committee which will be chaired by Tania Thomas.

Any queries regarding Māori Cultural Advisory Sub-committee should be referred to the NZDSN Office Manager admin@nzdsn.org.nz Tel – 04 473 4678.

Meet Our Team

Tania Thomas
Tania Thomas

Te Roopu Taurima

Tania hails from the Far North; her iwi is Ngati Kahu on her father’s side and Irish on her mother’s side.  Tania has three adult daughters and three grandchildren.

Tania’s current role is as Manawhakahaere/CEO of Te Roopu Taurima, kaupapa Maori disability support organisation.  Her past roles have included:

  • National Manager Field Services at the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind.
  • General Manager of Presbyterian Support Northern

Tania has also held senior positions in two crown entities:

  • Director of the Centre for Family and Whanau Knowledge at the Families Commission
  • Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner – disability in the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner, where she held the portfolios for disability, allied health, Maori, mental health service users and prisoners;

Tania is currently the co-opted Chair of NZDSN’s Maori Cultural Advisory Committee. The committee’s role is to advise the NZDSN Board on matters that enhance and support cultural responsiveness to Maori.  The committee is a resource to members of NZDSN.

Tania is a Board member for the National Advocacy Trust whose staff hold statutory roles under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act. Tania also holds a director role in Rotary for the Otahuhu, South Auckland Club. She is her marae representative on Te Runanga-a-iwi o Ngati Kahu, she is the runanga secretary and is also a director on her iwi’s corporate body.

Tania has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Auckland.