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Contributor


Tawhiti Kunaiti

Composer, Performer, Presenter, Māori Composer

Biography

Ngāti Raukawa, Rangitāne, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Kohatu and Ngāti Kuia.

Married for 19 years, his wife is of Cook Island, Tahitian, Dutch, Māori descent and together they have two grown children and four mokopuna.

Tawhiti is a registered graduate of the New Zealand Institute of Management, and is the Pou Whakarae – Prinicipal Cultural Leader for the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists. He has worked in Public Health and Sexual Health, and is a former member of the MidCentral District Health Board (MDHB) Healthy Communities Advisory Committee, MDHB Disability Support Advisory Committee and National Māori Sexual & Reproductive Health Committee.

Tawhiti also has a Māori Education background having worked in total immersion Māori language settings as an early childhood, primary and tertiary educator, further to being a past researcher at Massey University for the ‘Toi Te Kupu’ Māori Language initiative.

Tawhiti is presently employed as the Pou Whakarae – Principal Cultural Leader for both Te Tihi o Ruahine Whānau Ora Alliance and THINK Hauora where he sits as a member of the Senior Leadership Group. He is a previous recipient of Te Rau Puawai Māori Mental Health Scholarship.

Tawhiti has composed waiata Māori for decades with many of his compositions performed at a local, regional, national and international level. Tawhiti has also composed moteatea, waiata, haka, tira and patere (to name a few) for many kapahaka roopu of different ages.

Some alcaldes: Launch of Miharo Album at Te Papa 2011 Aotearoa Traditional Māori Performing Arts Festival Kapahaka Nationals (Ngaruawahia 2000) World Peace & Prayer Celebrations in Hawaii 2017