Henare Johnson

Henare Johnson

Chief Māori and Government Engagement Officer

Executive Leadership Team

He toa takitini

Ngāti Whare, Ngāti Manawa, Tuhoe, and Ngāti Porou.

For the past twenty years I have been involved in and have led Māori development initiatives. Today I am Callaghan Innovations’ Chief Māori Economy and Engagement Officer.

I was one of the first graduates of the Tohu Pokairua diploma, a course that opened opportunities for Christchurch-based Māori to enter university. After receiving my Bachelor of Arts in Māori Planning and Development, I studied for a Post Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Planning and Development.

I started my career at Tourism New Zealand, and in 2011 moved to Auckland Council to grow Māori engagement for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. This was followed by several years with Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED), where I was involved with implementing activities and projects to grow the region’s Māori economy. The role opened many doors and helped to inspire Whāriki, the country’s largest Māori Professionals and Business Network, of which I’m one of the four founding members.

I know my work today impacts future generations, so I want to make sure my decisions make me a good ancestor. I’m inspired by the potential of rangatahi leadership, and I'm proud to be able to support the leaders of tomorrow.

Areas of expertise
  • Indigenous peoples engagement
  • Story telling
  • Brand
  • Communications
  • Marketing
  • Strategy
  • Mau rakau
  • Whānau
  • Manaaki
  • Kapahaka (but not the singing part)
  • BA, Tohu Pokairua, Christchurch Polytech, 1999
  • Postgraduate Cert, Indigenous planning and development - Lincoln University, 2004
  • Indigenous connections, Wānanga global, 2005 - current
Memberships and awards
  • Founding member, Whāriki Māori Business Network
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