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NZ Honorary Advisers

Josh Wharehinga

I describe myself as ‘first and foremost, a father’ to my six young adults. Born and raised in Gisborne, my upbringing was typically ‘gang related’ which I attribute to helping shape my worldview, how I approach being a dad and my drive to do the work I do in the community.

Through education, driving community initiatives or building relationships, I have always gravitated towards growing people and communities.

My current experience, training and knowledge is in governance, a place I can continue to grow my Tairawhiti and Aotearoa communities.

I am a three term elected councillor and am currently the Deputy Mayor of the Gisborne District, the first Maori Deputy Mayor of my region.


My current governance roles include the Deputy Chair of the District Health Board, Chair for the All-Of-Health-Systems committee, and board memberships for VOYCE Whakarongo Mai, CORE Education Trust, Gisborne Holdings Ltd and the Gisborne District Sister Cities.

I have formerly held positions on Te Mana Whakahaere – the board for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Te Maruata Roopu Whakahaere – the Māori advisory board to Local Government New Zealand, and the Audit and Risk committee of Local Government New Zealand.

I have a lot of affection for the Asia New Zealand Foundation. I had the privilege of being a member of the Leadership Network, a programme where I was able to help build relationships and grow an even larger, international community.

I am honoured to be our first Network Member to become an Honorary Adviser and am looking forward to contributing in this role.