Paul Te Poa Karoro has served as Chair of Kono NZ LP since 2011, and as a director of Wakatu Incorporation since 1986. Paul’s career has been at the forefront of economic development, political advocacy with extensive Crown relationships for the Maori community for 30 years. Paul is a member of the Audit & Risk and HR Committees of Wakatu Incorporation.
During this time he has had many directorships and roles with Government, Public, and Private entities across agribusiness, science-education and business. Paul served as Chief Executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities, representing the interests of Maori business, from 1996 to 2007. He was awarded a QSO for services to Maori business in the New Years’ Honours in 2010.
Paul, in his capacity of Managing Director of Fomana Capital Ltd, is currently involved with a range of other businesses and organisations spanning the nutraceutical, cosmetic, aquaculture, food & beverage sectors and financial services.
James is currently on the Board of the Federation of Māori Authorities and also chairs the HR Committee, which facilitates both Wakatū Incorporation and Kono NZ. Born in Wellington, James spent his early years in Motueka on his Grandparents tobacco farm – whenua that is now part of the Wakatū Corpus land.
James played an instrumental role in the growth and recognition of our Tohu Wines brand. Launched in 1998, James was the company’s first CEO and in the ten years he held this role, secured markets in over 21 countries. This has allowed Tohu to become the iconic and internationally renowned Māori brand that it is today.
As a longstanding member of his local Rotary Club and a Justice of the Peace, James encompasses the values of Wakatū and Kono. Together with his wife Robyn, they have two sons and five mokopuna (grandchildren) and currently reside in Lower Hutt.
Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Rārua
Johnny is a previous Associate Director of Wakatū. He sits on the Audit & Risk and Human Resources Committees, and is a Director on the Kono Board. Johnny was previously the CEO of an international consulting company for 12 years working in Asia, the Middle East-GCC, Pacific and North America for the World Bank & Asian Development Bank on social infrastructure and human capital development major programmes. After working for the Treasury Department Johnny worked for the Foreign Affairs and Trade, and was GM International for NZQA.
He now sits on the governance board for AgResearch’s National Science Challenge – Our Land and Water (OLW) which aims to enhance New Zealand's primary sector economic contributions while improving our environment. Johnny’s professional qualifications include a Masters in Education Research (with distinction). He lives in Wellington and is Chief Executive of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand.
Ngāti Tama, Te Ātiawa
Waari was born in Takaka, attended Nelson College and is a graduate of Victoria University. In 1999, he was appointed a Fellow of what is now the Chartered Accountants of ANZ. Waari served 14 years on the Wakatu Board and was a founding Director of Kono.
His working experience includes over 20 years in the food industry working for both Foodstuffs and Progressive Enterprises via Foodtown Supermarkets when it expanded throughout the North Island. His last role as Finance Director exposed him to every aspect of the retail business.
Some of his other past Directorships include Famers Trading Company, Sky City, Moana Pacific Fisheries and the ASB Bank.
Waari’s broad commercial and financial experience has helped ensure that the diverse and rapidly growing business of Kono is appropriately planned, managed and monitored.
Bob is the Independent Chair of our Whenua Board and Director on the Kono Board. Bob is a former long-standing Wakatū Board Director, and former Company Secretary. He is based in Nelson and holds a number of professional directorships.