Kia ora John,
Thank you for your wisdom and advice. I grew up in the far north in Whangaruru and whakapapa to Ngati Kuri in the far north from a small village called Te Hapua.
My first job was pruning pine trees, selling firewood and watermelons selling them on the side of the road to batch owners on holiday in Whangaruru in summer and hay bailing for rugby coaches and working in hospitality cooking before falling out of school midway through 1999 ending up with a Diploma in Cultural Tourism and Travel and Bachelor of Maori Development from AUT.
I worked at the Ministry of Maori Development Te Puni Kokiri, holding the youth and education portfolio for Auckland from early 2005 to to 2011 working in Govt departments from 2003 to 2011, looking after youth portfolio in all those roles.
While working at TPK I started working with my wife’s whanau in PNG from 2009 onwards (after-work-hours) to establish export markets for their agricultural products and supporting family members into study here in NZ and PNG. I left TPK November 2011 to start RoMack Industries Ltd and was then asked August 2012 to be the Vice Chairman of the New Zealand Papua New Guinea Business Council. The PNG Hon. Consulate General, the late Dr Peter Goldsmith, asked me to fill this role which I was in for 4 years.
During this time I also served two years as the Chairman of Crosspower New Zealand, a Youth Services provider that was based in Otara. At the time it was one of the largest un-referred youth service providers in NZ. I volunteered/worked at CrossPower for 12 years.
In 2014 my wife and I partnered with James Ehau and his business Native Enterprises to extend the perfume range he had created by creating a natural skincare range for Native Rituals, using raw ingredients which we sourced from Papua New Guinea. This business went live in April 2015 after a year of research and development.
Throughout this time I have maintained my craft as a Photographer, most recently working for my Iwi Ngati Kuri’s Tourism arm building our digital presence for the Tourism business and creating content/new product development for the various business I am involved with.
James Ehau is cereal entrepreneur futurist if there ever was one. He has had multiple businesses over the years including Native Enterprises, Pure Health Delivered, Ti Tonic and Ketologie in America among other businesses. James hails from the East coast born and raised in Nelson and like me spent his early life chasing the Rugby Ball up and down sidelines around NZ -in his case the USA.
My wife Rebekah is the third partner and keel to my sail full of wind that stops me from tipping over. Rebekah’s Dad is Kiwi and Mum is from PNG. She was born in Port Moresby and raised on Dobu Island in Milne Bay moving to NZ when she was eight with her Mum, Dad and sister in 1988. She is a music specialist of 16 years. She has been teaching for 16 years and has a passion for beauty and trained as a makeup artist through her involvement as a performer. She is currently the Head of a Performing Arts department at a West Auckland High School.