Meet Our Judges

Hohepa Thompson

The HORI label was created in 2012 and since then has been the center of much artistic and social debate. It was developed in order to draw attention to significant Maori and New Zealand issues that as an artist I felt close to and believe need to be addressed.
The goal for the HORI brand is to open up conversations about difficult cultural and social issues which people feel is to taboo to talk about.
"like Our nations Haka HORI dares to be different and to challenge people’s views. (Even when it may not seem so politically correct to do so)

Manawa Udy

Head of Creative & Culture at Ngahere Communities

Manawa is a creative and social entrepreneur and founder of the Ngahere Communities network based in South Auckland, which includes e-commerce marketplace Konei. As a photographer and storyteller Manawa believes there is creativity inside all of us and has a passion for the development of indigenous creators. With a career that spans youth development, community development, facilitation, programme design and entrepreneurship Manawa has led the team at Ngahere Communities to now offer a full growth and connectedness experience for Maori and Pasifika entrepreneurs in Manukau, across Aotearoa and into Australia.

Ngahere manages the operations of GridMNK, lead the TUKUA Whanau, KONEI NZ and KONEI AU, and also a boutique creative agency with the Ngahere Creators. Manawa is the host of the Ngahere Talks podcast, and a strong advocate for the power of indigenous wāhine, through whom many of our greatest challenges will be solved.

Inez White

Indigenous Ambassador, Build Native with Shopify

Kia ora, fakalofa lahi atu. Ko Inez taku ingoa nō Te Arawa, Aotearoa. I'm one of the Global Indigenous Ambassadors on the Build Native with Shopify team. We are committed to empowering indigenous businesses through e-commerce. Professionally I have a background in property valuations. Outside of Shopify I'm part of the team building our first Māori credit union and one day Māori bank. Mauri Ora.


Pat MacFie

Global Director Design and Innovation at Indigo

Pat is a creative leader who, for 5 years, led the global creative/ media function at Xero where he became renowned for delivering globally significant creative collaborations with international and local artists, designers and filmmakers. Since co-founding Indigo and Manaaki alongside his wife Jada, and business partners Monty Betham and Andy Hamilton, Pat has gone on to establish Indigo Creative Studios: an 800sq metre film/ content and music production facility, and engage at the grass roots of the NZ creative sector.

In the last 12 months, Pat and the Indigo and Manaaki team have commissioned large scale works from contemporary Māori artists Paora Tiatoa and Xoe Hall, and staged major Art and Fashion events in Indigo Studio including the 2022 Miro Moda Māori Fashion collective Livestream. Pat is now actively working with Māori artists to enable the development of their work into NFTs, and co-designing Web3 initiatives such as a Māori artist DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation) to enable greater levels of financial enablement of Māori Artists.

Travis O'Keefe

CEO Te Whare Hukahuka (Social Enterprise) & Nuku (Ecommerce coaching & Agency)


Ko Pukehapopo te maunga - my mountain is called Pukehapopo

Ko Waiomoko te awa - my river is called Waiomoko

Ko Ngati Konohi te iwi - my tribe is called Ngati Konohi

Ko Tereanini te waka - my canoe is called Tereanini

Ko Paikea te tipuna - my ancestor is the Chief Paikea

Ko Whangara-mai-tawhiti te kainga - my village is called Whangara-mai-tawhiti

Ko Travis ahau - my name is Travis


I won't bore you with my social enterprise journey other than to say I have tried many different, innovative, things to improve our communities; from lobbying politicians to writing Government policy papers, to thought leadership in Philanthropy, to educating charity executives, to parachuting inside charities to grow revenues, to developing new social business models until the universe conspired for me to arrive back at the place it all started, helping those that the Government defines as; limited access to society's resources due to poverty, discrimination, or other disadvantages. I prefer the label ‘Improving the Lives of 10 million Indigenous people’.


Kim Hill

Business Advisor, Mentor and Strategist

Kim Hill is a top level business strategist, coach and consultant who is widely sought after throughout New Zealand for her expertise and skills in all areas of running businesses. A successful entrepreneur and businesswoman herself, Kim’s reputation for solid, shrewd, common sense has won her a myriad of fans. Kim facilitates, coaches and delivers conference addresses. She provides a sounding board, helping people from individuals with the germ of a business idea to corporate businesses to define and achieve their goals. Her remit is business consolidation, growth and improved productivity and she gets consistent, solid and significant results. Kim brings integrity and passion to everything she undertakes.

Martin Mariassouce

Regional Director, Te Puni Kokiri

Martin joined Te Puni Kōkiri in 1995 as a kaiwhakarite. Realising the potential of Māori communities in Auckland has been an enduring passion for Martin, who has chalked up more than 20 years working in the Tāmaki Makaurau regional office.

In his time, he estimates the Māori Business Facilitation Service which was set up in 2000 has come into contact with more than 1200 Māori businesses and start up entrepreneurs with around 1000 of those in the Tāmaki region.

“Te Puni Kokiri have a foundation based on kaupapa Māori. The relationships we have developed and the institutional knowledge of this place is unmatched. Nothing can replace that. We are our people and the people are us.”

Mia Brennan

Founder of Mimi Designs, co-owner of The Hori and Te Church cafe

Brennan is an emerging designer known for producing striking and unique pieces. She is the creator of fashion label, Mimi Designs.

Mia's roots are firmly set in her Aboriginal ancestry and draws from concepts of adaption, connection and growth within out environment.

Based in the hinterlands of Byron Bay, her surroundings are reflected in all elements of her work. Earthy fibres and textiles are blended with a sophisticated and contemporary edge.

Behind the simplicity of each beautiful garment lies a belief in culture, independence and ethical manufacturing. Mia uses an innate sense of design aesthetic to create a modern and innovative label with reverence to an ageless land.



Stuart Kerr  

NZ Trade Commissioner

Stuart is NZTE's Queensland trade commissioner based in Brisbane. Previously, he helped New Zealand exporters to find success in Australia as a business advisor and state manager for NZTE in Australia. Stuart has a broad range of business experience and analysis, having owned a number of successful small businesses. In recent years he has been involved with assisting over 1,000 Australian and New Zealand business owners grow and develop.

Stuart has worked with a broad range of manufacturing and service businesses in Australia and overseas, including tourism, engineering, food production, health, manufacturing, cosmetics, franchises and transport sectors. His expertise encompasses critical business skills, including innovation, financial analysis, valuations, marketing, management and strategic planning.

Stuart has a Business Degree and MBA as well as formal qualifications in Root Cause Analysis, Strategic Business Planning, Tendering, Lean Manufacturing and is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Raukura Hoerara-Smith

Export Customer Advisor, Māori Business, Te Taurapa Tūhono/NZTE

When I think of my purpose, I am reminded of a whakatauki (proverb) from my iwi of Ngāti Porou by the late Tā Apirana Ngata.  

The opening line - E tipu e rea mō ngā rā o tō ao - grow and branch forth for the days destined to you - these are guiding words that have become embedded in our tribal identity. Our past helps us to know where we are heading, and we all have our responsibilities and challenges and our own dreams to fulfil.  

I believe my passion is to serve and support successful outcomes for Māori by Māori, which directly aligns with my purpose as a Māori woman able to quietly and confidently move between two worlds.  

The opportunity to grow the Māori economy is truly humbling and an absolute honour for me to be a small contribution to the wider purpose of Te Taurapa Tūhono.