About Us

Waitangi: a place for all New Zealanders, a place of accord for all peoples. A place standing central to our history as a nation and at the centre of the growth of our nation.

Vision for Waitangi

He Whenua Rangatira
Aotearoa New Zealand’s Most Significant Place

Mission Statement

Understanding and Sharing our Past to Build our Future

Waitangi Treaty Grounds Executive Staff

Greg McManus


Send An Email

Anita Woodfield

Corporate Services Manager

Send An Email

Mori Rapana

Cultural Manager

Send An Email

Tania Burt

Business Development Manager

Send An Email

Brooke Williams

Commercial Manager

Send An Email

Monika Kern

Education Manager

Send An Email

Craig Jacobs

Facilities and Safety Manager

Send An Email

The Waitangi National Trust

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is part of an estate that comprises 506 hectares. The Waitangi National Trust was set up by Act of Parliament to administer the estate. It’s Deed of Trust, drawn up in 1932, set out the objectives for the Treaty Grounds. These included priority being given to the repair and restoration of the former Residency which, at Lord Bledisloe's request, was now renamed the Treaty House.

On the Trust’s first Board were:

The Board continues to be made up of descendants and representatives of people directly associated with this historic site. The incumbent Governor-General has the right to choose to be Patron of the Trust.

Trust Board Members

Photo of  Tumu Te Heuheu

Sir Dr. Tumu Te Heuheu


A representative of the Māori people living in the North Island south of the City of Auckland

Photo of  Dennis McBrearty

Mr Dennis McBrearty

Deputy Chair (2013)

A representative of the Pākeha residents of the Bay of Islands district

Photo of  Kate Wilkinson

Ms Kate Wilkinson


A representative of the people, Pākeha and Māori, living in the South Island

Photo of  Don McKinnon

Sir Don McKinnon


A person prominent in the life of the country as a statesman

Photo of  Peeni Henare

Mr Peeni Henare


A representative of the Māori people living in the North Auckland Peninsula

Photo of  Pita Tipene

Mr Pita Tipene

Chairman (2016)

A member of the family of Maihi Kawiti

Photo of  Jane  Fletcher

Ms Jane Fletcher


A member of the family of the late Archdeacon Henry Williams

Photo of  Mita  Harris

Mr Mita Harris


A member of the family of Tamati Waka Nene

Photo of  Wiremu Puriri

Mr Wiremu Puriri


A member of the family of Hone Heke

Photo of  Tania  Simpson

Mrs Tania Simpson

Deputy Chair (2017)

A member of the family of Pomare

Photo of  Hugh  Cotterill

Mr Hugh Cotterill


A representative of the family of the late James Busby

Photo of

Mr Rino Tirikatene


Appointed by the Prime Minister to represent the Government

Photo of

Dr Shane Reti


Appointed by the Leader of the Opposition, following consultation with the leader of each party that is not in Government or in coalition with the Government

As kaitiaki (guardians) the Waitangi National Trust Board takes reponsibility to:

The values that underpin our work

The Waitangi Trust Board, through its internal and external relationships, will support the two partners of the Treaty working together through interactions that are:

Honest operating through an understanding of good faith in all dealings

Responsive to stakeholders’ needs

Reliable by using sound process

Respectful of all cultures, acknowledging the two Treaty partners

Informative by providing information that is relevant and historically accurate

Constructive in providing a forum for positive debate about the Treaty

Ethical operating in accordance with established standards and current legislation

The Treaty Grounds Founding: the Bledisloe Gift

After the signing of the Treaty in 1840 the Treaty House remained the property of the Busby family. The house and surrounding estate was sold in 1882 by Agnes Busby, ten years after her husbands’ death. Over the years, the Waitangi estate gradually declined, becoming a typical piece of New Zealand marginal farmland. Only Māori, it seemed, remembered the significance of the place. In 1878 members of local tribes petitioned the government to help them set up a commemorative meeting house, but the government refused.

In the early 20th century, local MP and lawyer Vernon Reed took up the cause for greater appreciation of Waitangi as an important site for all New Zealanders. He had many knockbacks, but in 1932, when the Governor-General and his wife, Lord and Lady Bledisloe, were holidaying in the Bay of Islands Reed encouraged them to visit Waitangi and see this historic place for themselves. The Bledisloes were enchanted by the site and, convinced that New Zealanders should appreciate its significance, they arranged to buy the estate.

On 10 May 1932, following this visit, Lord Bledisloe informed the Prime Minister George Forbes by letter: ‘I desire formally, on behalf of Her Excellency and myself, to present, through you, to the nation, New Zealand's most historic spot “Waitangi” together with 1000 acres of land belonging to the estate of which it forms part and which we have recently purchased with this object.’

Lord Bledisloe formally gifted Waitangi to the nation at a hui attended by thousands on 6 February 1934 – the first ‘Waitangi Day’, New Zealand’s national day.

Te Whare Rūnanga: The cave of Maikuku, the guardian of the waters of Waitangi.

Ngātokimatawhaorua: Ceremonial War Canoe.

Hui: To gather, congregate, assemble, meet.

Back to top