Governor and Māori business leader Hinerangi Raumati MNZM had not considered a career in governance while she studied at the University of Waikato in the 1980s, but the opportunity came looking for her.
Ms Raumati (Waikato, Ngāti Mutunga) has been recognised by the University of Waikato for her dedication to advancing Māori business, particularly in her role as a governor and trustee.
The award is given to a small number of alumni who have achieved significant success in their careers and have made outstanding contributions to their communities.
Ms Raumati chose to study at the Waikato Management School because of the strength of the Bachelor of Management Studies degree of which she graduated with in 1991, before completing a Master of Management Studies in 1994.
While working as an accountant for Beattie Rickman (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), she was asked to be a trustee for Trust Waikato. There was a call for young Māori woman to be in governance and the timing was just right for the then 30-year-old to begin her successful career in governance.
“I enjoyed being around a table with wise people,” she says.
“I’ve worked under chair's who have had an influence on the style and thinking that I use today. They taught me to have a long-term view, to look after the fundamentals and the people.”
The well-respected governor has been a trail-blazer for Māori business leaders. She was the first wahine elected to the Parininihi ki Waitōtara board and the first wahine appointed chair, after only five years. She is also the first Waikato Tainui iwi member to be appointed chair of Tainui Group Holdings.
Equally active on the marae and in the corporate boardroom, Hinerangi holds several governance roles for organisation and commercial iwi entities including Ngāti Mutunga, Taranaki and Ngā Ruahine. She is also Chair of the Tūrangawaewae Trust Board and is on the board of the New Zealand Reserve Bank, Watercare Services and Genesis Energy, to name a few.
In addition to her governance roles, she runs a successful independent consultancy firm working with Māori incorporations, post-settlement entities and not-for-profit organisations. She is passionate about supporting businesses who have a holistic approach to Te Ao Māori in order to deliver financial, social, cultural and environmental results.
Ms Raumati is one of four Distinguished Alumni awardees along with director Jennifer Kerr, Supreme Court Judge of Samoa Justice Leilani Tuala-Warren and director and Māori business leader Jamie Tuuta.