Dr Cheryl Stephens

Ngati Pikiao, Ngati Hinekura, Ngati Makino, Tuhourangi-Ngati Wahiao, Taranaki Iwi, Ngati Ruanui, Te Whanau a Apanui

Pouwhakahaere, Te Rau Matatau

I spent 20 years teaching in primary schools in Rotorua and Rangitikei and Māori advisory services in Manawatū and Whanganui. I also trained as an Education Review Officer and moved into the tertiary sector, with responsibility for training the next generation of Māori teachers at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi. Working in the wānanga sector gave me the opportunity to delve into research, student support systems, online teaching and learning systems (e-wānanga), quality assurance systems, working with NZQA, TEC, teaching postgraduate students and supervision of masters and PhD students.

Working in a Kaupapa Māori organisation enables me to be Māori. My whakapapa, my whānau, hapū, iwi contribute to Te Rau Ora every day. I am passionate about education and how it can transform people’s lives.

As a Te Rau Ora leader, it is my duty to grow the next generation of Māori leaders, through education and training. To provide new skills, strategies, new knowledge, and systems. To create opportunities for our kaimahi to have their tolerance, resilience, patience and stick-ability tested, and their thought processes and thinking strategies challenged.

I was the Education Commissioner for the NZ National Commission of UNESCO 2016-2018, appointed by Hon. Hekia Parata, Minister of Education 2016-2018 and was an original member of the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC).

I have also done work with KaupapaMaori.com, TEC’s original research proposal with Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Professor Leonie Pihama which became KaupapaMaori.com and now rangahau.co.nz . I am also a member of the writing team for the development of Te Ohanga Mataora: Bachelor of Health Sciences Māori Nursing degree at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi.

My qualifications include a Doctorate of Education, Master of Business Studies (Management), Diploma of Sport (Coaching), Bachelor of Education, Diploma of Teaching, and a National Certificate Literacy Numeracy for Adults.