WERA Aotearoa Charitable Trust was birthed in 2008 from a need to provide community development services that are effective and relative to all NZ communities.

The future looks busy for WERA Aotearoa Charitable Trust and we consider it a privilege to work with whānau and communities celebrating their success and creating a strong future.

Our Trust is made up of staff and management who have worked in whānau and community development at local, regional and national levels giving us a mix of experiences, backgrounds and qualifications. This combination has transformed into innovative, unique services specific to Aotearoa.


Our Foundation

The central foundation of the Trust is the financial, social and educational well being of individuals, their families and their communities. To achieve this we have developed services that have been recognised as innovative and pioneering gaining the attention of various communities and organisations nationally and internationally.

We are driven by our vision: 'Communities are solid, strong and self supporting'

Since our inception in 2008, we now provide the following community development services:

  • Youth Services for 16-18 year olds in the Tokoroa Region
  • Training courses for Youth in career pathways
  • Youth Worker Training for the Central North Island
  • Tikanga Maori Motivational programmes held on marae
  • Specialist Maori Cultural Assessments
  • Re-integration Services
  • Emergency Housing Support
  • Property Management Services
  • Employment and Training Placement Services
  • Whanau Navigation and Truancy Reduction Services

Our Trustees


Waka : Te Arawa
Iwi : Tuhourangi, Ngati Tuwharetoa
Hapu : Ngati Wahiao, Ngati Whakaue, Ngati Tahu, Ngati Whaoa, Ngati Karauria

Roku was born and raised in the village of Whakarewarewa where contributing to the wellbeing of the Whanau and Hapu in the Marae setting was the norm. This was both complimented and challenged by a unique and natural geothermal environment that demanded understanding and respect to co-exist harmoniously. These experiences have provided a solid foundation for his personal growth and professional development in a wide range of sectors including forestry, tourism, justice services, social services, education, policy development, treaty settlements, agribusiness, biodiversity, environmental sustainability and freshwater fisheries.

Roku sits on a number of boards that variously reflect his background and experiences that are complimentary to those organisations’ positive contribution toward the wellbeing of Maori, the environment and the community in general.



Donnarae has extensive HR experience having worked in the area for 20 years. Donnarae has worked at both strategic and operational levels and has held senior management HR positions in the Corporate, Tertiary Education and Not-for-Profit sectors.

While Donnarae’s knowledge extends to all facets of HR – Recruitment and Selection, Performance Reviews, Managing Non Performance, Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures, Restructuring and Redundancy Processes, HR Policies and Practices, she specialises in Personal Grievances and Mediation. Her qualifications include an MBA , Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies.

Jonathon Hagger - TRUSTEE

Jonathon is of Ngai Takato descent.

He has 16 years' experience working in management, tertiary education and the health care sector. Jonathon is the Chief Executive for Rotorua Community Hospice Trust and has been in this role since October 2019. He has experience in not for profit governance through sitting on boards that awhi whanau and vulnerable peoples.

Jonathon has a MBA from the University of Waikato.



Teresa is of Ngati Ruapani and Ngapuhi descent

She has 16 years community development experience with 14 years of case management experience with Work and Income.

Teresa is qualified in Adult Education and Training, Public Sector, Hauora Māori and Child Protection Studies plus she is an accredited DISC Model Facilitator.

Teresa specialises in development of Quality Management systems and has previously been engaged to develop and implement policies and procedures for the trust that ensures a high level of administrative and financial processes are maintained.

Our Locations



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