Teresa Tepania-Ashton

Teresa Tepania-Ashton

Māori Women's Development, Chief Executive Officer

Teresa Tepania-Ashton is the kind of quiet leader we find it easy to respect. After a 12 year career working internationally with Citibank (during which time she rose from Service Assistant to Vice President) she put her decades of community and corporate governance experience to work for her people.

Teresa was the CEO of Te Rūnanga-a-Iwi o Ngāpuhi from 2004 – 2011. Today she is CEO of Māori Women’s Development Incorporated – an inspirational and incredibly well-resourced organisation that provides loans and wrap around support for Wāhine Māori in business, and their whānau.

Teresa would never say it, but the people she works with describe her as mindful, decisive, astute, a nurturing and empowering leader. This shows when you consider the awards and acclaims she’s received:

• 2016 New Zealander of the year – Local Hero
• 2016 Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for service to Māori and business
• 2015 & 2016 finalist New Zealand Woman of Influence
• 2009 Dame Mira Szaszy Alumni (University of Auckland)

Not to mention the many accolades & awards serving as a Corporate Banker.

With 3 children and a growing tribe of mokopuna, Teresa is an inspiring and understated speaker. With credibility in hapū and iwi development, Reo Māori development, and governance across all sectors. She is truly a contemporary wahine Māori leader.