James Whetu – Director (Planning and Policy) - Waikato, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Raukawa
With extensive experience in resource management planning and town/community/rural development, James is skilled in engagement of communities and stakeholders in both a consultancy and local government work environment. He also has significant experience in implementation within collaborative and co-management processes in sustainable management.
James' ability to critically analyse any situation and work towards finding innovative solutions that meet the interests of all parties, is one of his most valued skills. This currently sees him working to find ways to implement indigenous values, traditions and knowledge within other Western ideologies, world-views and frameworks.
With over 16 years experience in environmental planning and policy, he has both a Masters and Post Graduate Diploma in Planning from Massey University and a Bachelors degree majoring in Resource and Environmental Planning from Waikato University, James also has the following certifications/qualifications:
- RMA Independent Commissioner Accreditation
- Project Management Accreditation
- International Association Public Participation (IAP2) Planning Certificate
- Collaboration (Twyfords)
- Certificate in Ecological Building and Design
- Strategic Thinking and Facilitation
James is a member of both the New Zealand and the International Associations of Impact Assessment. He is also an associate member of the New Zealand Planning Institute.
A few of James' recent appointments include:
- Vision Mātauranga Lead and Iwi Engagement Advisor within the MBIE Sustainable Seas Programme
- Māngai Māori representative to the regulatory and hearings committee for Hamilton City Council
- Chair Waikato Housing Hub Trust
- Chair Ngāruāwahia Community Board
- Papa Pounamu Member, NZPI Special Interest Group
- Member of Institute of Directors NZ
Amy Whetu - Director (Policy and Research)
With an array of skills including in policy and implementation, environmental and indigenous governance and also strategic planning and review, Amy has experience working in both iwi organisations and private practice, enhancing her ability to effectively engage with both iwi groups, stakeholders and individuals alike.
Amy has completed her Master of Laws, with a focus on Environmental Law and Indigenous Governance, as well as holding a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science from the University of Waikato. Amy has a passion for the law and in particular, the co-existence of law and Māori lore within the New Zealand jurisdiction. Her special areas of interest include climate change, mitigation, adaptation and resilience, particularly in agriculture.
Her background also includes experience in family law practice and business development. Amy holds the following certifications/accreditations:
- Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans (NAP-AG) Program’ with the United
Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
- Kaupapa Rangahau Workshop Series on Māori Research Theory 2014, through Te Kotahi Research Institute
- Takituu: Governance, Sustainability and Indigenous Development Programme, Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development
- Consultation Requirements, NZ Law Society
- Introduction to Family Law Practice, NZ Law Society
- Family Law Advocacy Skills Accelerator, NZ Law Society
- Preparing & Presenting Evidence in Family Court, NZ Law Society
- Family Law Basics Seminars, NZ Law Society
- Obtaining Pre-Trial Information, NZ Law Society
- Evidence and How it Works, NZ Law Society
Amy is also an independent director for Anexa FVC (Animal Health Centre Waikato Inc.).
Koriiana Hooker - Graduate Planner
With whakapapa to Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hineuru, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Tū and Ngai Tuhoe, Koriiana is equipped with a strong knowledge of Te Ao Māori. Koriiana is a Graduate Planner at Whetū Consultancy Group after recently completing her Environmental Planning Degree at the University of Waikato. Koriiana has been part of the Whetū team throughout her studies prior to becoming taking on her role as Graduate Planner. She has a special interest in Māori planning with a focus on implementing Te Ao Māori into the western frameworks and policies of Planning, so this can then be used to empower Māori communities, mana whenua, iwi/hapū and whānau to be inclusive and involved in the planning and research process.
Koriiana's efforts in her studies and as a community member have contributed to her being the recipient of numerous University Scholarships. She is also a member of Papa Pounamu and the New Zealand Planning Institute. Koriiana is a skilled communicator and her experience with facilitation and engagement on key issues for Māori planning, are her key areas of strength.
Koriiana brings a wonderful combination of skills as well as fresh perspective and specialist knowledge to the Whetū Group team and we are delighted to have her working alongside us. Koriiana will be supported and mentored in her role and in her future career aspirations by the Directors of Whetū Group.