Our Fundamental Principles are consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi | The Treaty of Waitangi.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi established Aotearoa New Zealand as a bicultural nation, where Māori and the Crown work together in partnership.

As part of Red Cross Red Crescent, we work to alleviate suffering within our own borders and worldwide. We follow international and domestic law – Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the founding document for the country in which we operate.

It is consistent with our Fundamental Principles to support Crown obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, as well as reflect Māori perspectives at all levels of our work.


Ko Taupiri, Tarawera, Hikurangi nga maunga

Ko Waikato, Tarawera, Waiapu nga awa

Ko Tainui, Te Arawa, Nukutaimemeha nga waka

Ko Ngati Maniapoto, Ngati Mahuta, Ngati Rangitihi, Ngati Porou nga Iwi

Ko Heather me Pat Ratahi waku matua

Ko Heather Ratahi Junior taku ingoa

I feel honoured and privileged to be able to support our rangatira and programme sponsor, Secretary General Sarah (Norm) Stuart-Black, as she leads us on this journey. This is the first ever role like this at New Zealand Red Cross, and the authenticity and genuine intent of the commitment is significant.

My first focus is on manaakitanga and how we build this across Red Cross and those we support and work with.

I'm ex-Armed Forces, as a Clerk All Arms in the Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps, and in real estate as a salesperson, property manager and auctioneer.

The mana of the Red Cross emblem is my main kaupapa. This goes back to my days in the Medical Corps. The emblem is our safety net and I wear it with pride.

I hope to bring to our Te Ao Māori Programme a way of working that builds mana and manaakitanga I use this whakataukī to describe this,’ she says.

E aha te mea a nui o te ao? E tāngata, E tāngata, E tāngata. What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.

I've been part of the New Zealand Red Cross whānau for two years and have loved the work to date to building iwi relationships, recruiting the first kaupapa Māori disaster welfare and support team, and as Tiamana | Chair of the Rōpū Hāpai Māori.

Rōpū Hāpai Māori

Ehara taku toa I te toa takitahi, Engari he toa takitini.

My strength is not that of an individual, but that of a collective.

Rōpū Hāpai Māori is one of our communities—also called networks—which provide spaces for Red Cross people to feel:

  • supported and empowered in their identity, and
  • a sense of belonging at New Zealand Red Cross.

The rōpū ensures that we are able to support Māori communities and reflect the communities we serve – in both representation and skills.

Our hapori

The rōpū was established to support Red Cross people in encouraging, guiding, and providing input on:

  • Māori mana motuhake
  • tikanga Māori
  • te reo Māori, and
  • Te Ao Māori.

The rōpū is open to anyone committed upholding Māori aspirations. All members are able to contribute at the level that suits their skills, time, capacity, and desire.

Our kaupapa

  1. Foster an environment for members, volunteers, and staff where Māori mana motuhake is upheld.
  2. Advocate for Māori communities within New Zealand Red Cross.
  3. Provide opportunities to learn and teach others about matters relating to Māori communities.
  4. Provide feedback on the development of policies and procedures at New Zealand Red Cross that affect Māori.
  5. Be active within New Zealand Red Cross to remain updated on all issues, queries, events, and activities that may affect Māori.


The rōpū has an Executive Leadership Team sponsor or appointed nominee and up to two leadership roles and:

  • Tiamana Kaimahi | Co-Chairperson – Staff
  • Tiamana Kairāhi | Co-Chairperson – Members and Volunteers.