Wahine Toa: Libby Hakaraia

The latest Wahine Toa post by By Nancy Gilbert, wife of U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert. Libby Hakaraia is a trailblazing journalist, author and filmmaker, broadcasting New Zealand’s culture and cinematic stories to the world. A masterful auteur,  Libby pioneered New Zealand’s first international indigenous film festival – Māoriland Film Festival. I visited this gifted storyteller in her ...
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Wahine Toa: Ranei Wineera – Parai

The latest Wahine Toa post by By Nancy Gilbert, wife of U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert. Ranei Wineera-Parai is a change agent whose formidable community development work touches and improves lives in her home town of  Porirua and its environs. Ranei has mana tangata whenua (indigenous rights) through her Ngāti Toa iwi.   I had the privilege ...
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Wahine Toa Leadership Conference

The latest Wahine Toa post by By Nancy Gilbert, wife of U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert. In October, the United States Embassy in New Zealand brought together 140 Maori women from across the country for the Wahine Toa (“Women of Strength”) Leadership Conference, the culmination of two years of interviews and engagement with emerging female leaders from the ...
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Wahine Toa: Rukumoana Schaafhausen

The latest Wahine Toa post by By Nancy Gilbert, wife of U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert. Our next Wahine Toa feature is Rukumoana Schaafhausen from Ngāti Haua. Her ardent desire to help her community, her church, and her Māori people is central to her story as the longest standing trustee for Waikato Tainui Te Kauhaunganui Inc, ...
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Wahine Toa: Kerensa Johnston

The latest Wahine Toa post by By Nancy Gilbert, wife of U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert. Kerensa Johnston is an accomplished lawyer who passionately advocates for Indigenous and human rights.  Her stellar career spans from the halls of academia to the court room and led to her recent appointment as first female CEO of Wakatū Incorporated. Wakatū is ...
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Wahine Toa: Kiri Nathan

The latest Wahine Toa post by By Nancy Gilbert, wife of U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert. This month I’d like to introduce Kiri Nathan, an elegant mother, fashion designer, Māori female leadership and youth advocate of Ngā Puhi and Tainui descent. She has developed an internationally-recognized brand – Kiri Nathan – a high-end fashion label with a Māori heart and ...
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Wahine Toa: Rachel Taulelei

The latest Wahine Toa post by By Nancy Gilbert, wife of U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert. The next Wahine Toa feature is Rachel Taulelei. Rachel’s Māori heritage and advocacy for young entrepreneurs, women in particular, are among her most passionate inspirations. Business savvy, and an innate gift for innovation have led to extraordinary success —first as an entrepreneur ...
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Wahine Toa: Olivia Hall

The latest Wahine Toa post by By Nancy Gilbert, wife of U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert. The Ngāti Rārua iwi in the upper South Island is known for its strong female leadership, beginning with the women that the iwi was named after Raruaioio and Raruatere.  Generations later their legacy holds true as they introduce a current female leader, Olivia ...
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Wahine Toa: Liana Poutu

The latest Wahine Toa post by By Nancy Gilbert, wife of U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert. Wherever you may travel in the Taranaki region, you stand in awe of the stunning Mount Taranaki that unites the eight surrounding iwi through history and lore.  In Māori legend, Taranaki migrated from Taupo after losing a battle with Tongariro over the ...
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A Warm Dunedin Welcome for Nancy and Ambassador Gilbert

By Mara Hosoda, Public Affairs Section, U.S. Consulate General, Auckland. On April 13 and 14, 2016 the U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert and his wife, Mrs. Nancy Gilbert, made their first official visit to Dunedin, New Zealand. The Gilberts met with a cross section of Dunedin’s government, business, university, and civil society sectors. It was a ...
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Kiwi women entrepreneurs hear from Nancy Gilbert & U.S. Ambassador LeVine

U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Suzi LeVine and Nancy Gilbert spoke with a group of women entrepreneurs at BizDojo at a Collider Wellington on Tuesday March 29, while in New Zealand on a family holiday. Ambassador LeVine has an extensive background in tech, working at Microsoft and Expedia, and founding her own companies, prior to her appointment as President ...
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Nancy Gilbert Showcases American and New Zealand Iconic Images

Last week Nancy Gilbert hosted the Et Alia Art Group at Camperdown for a luncheon to share and discuss the Art in Embassies ‘Iconic Images’ exhibition. Nancy gave a history of the Art in Embassies program and the process behind their theme of iconic images of her home and host countries. She shared her favorite pieces with the ...
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WAHINE TOA: Jackie Colliar

The latest Wahine Toa post by By Nancy Gilbert, wife of U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert. On the riverbank where the Waipa and Waikato rivers meet in Ngaruawahia, I met our next Wahine Toa, Jackie Colliar.  She represents a rare but growing group in New Zealand –female Māori engineers.  As an Environmental Engineer at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) coupled with ...
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Wahine Toa: Gina Rangi

The latest Wahine Toa post by By Nancy Gilbert, wife of U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert. This month I’d like to introduce Gina Rangi of the Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Raukawa iwi. Everything about Gina – her intellectual pursuit, ambition to create positive outcomes for Māori, and social life – is based on the premise that leadership is ...
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Broadening Horizons and Building Courage: Tuākana Youth Mentoring Program

Guest blog post by Rachel Harris and Jonathan Gee. As burgeoning business leaders move into the world, bridging the gap between one generation and the next is of vital importance. The State Department was proud to fund and support the Tuākana Youth Mentoring Program run by NGO Leadership New Zealand and the Fulbright New Zealand ...
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Wahine Toa: Lynell Huria

By Nancy Gilbert, wife of U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert. Last month I embarked on a long-term program called Wahine Toa (Women Leaders) to meet with, learn about, and highlight to our blog readers some extraordinary women Maori leadership and their significant contributions throughout the country. In the first blog of the series, I met trailblazer ...
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Independence Day Celebrations in Auckland and Wellington, July 2015

By Phil McKenna and Rob Tate, Public Affairs, U.S. Embassy Wellington. Embracing the enthusiasm for sports that is such a feature of both American and New Zealand culture, the Embassy in Wellington and the Consulate General in Auckland kicked off a two-day celebration of American Independence Day. Our celebrations this year were made even sweeter, ...
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Looking back to the Opening of the Matariki Festival

By U.S. Ambassador, Mark Gilbert. A little while back I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the official opening of the Matariki Festival at the Dawn Karakia, alongside Auckland Mayor Len Brown and prominent Maori leaders. I had heard about the Matariki Festival prior to my arrival in New Zealand, and Nancy and I were excitedly ...
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