Chief Māori Advisor, Social Investment Agency
Of Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau a Apanui, Tuwharetoa, Whanganui, and Raukawa ki te Tonga descent, Atawhai is a Wellington-based strategic policy advisor, with interests spanning the economics of Māori well-being, the valuation of Māori language and culture, the measurement of cultural capital, the behavioural drivers of Māori outcomes, and Māori economic and social policy more generally.
Atawhai is fluent in te reo Māori and has expertise in tikanga Māori. He led the development of the first ever survey of indigenous wellbeing undertaken by a national statistics agency – Te Kupenga. He then led the Māori Living Standards Framework project at the NZ Treasury. Atawhai currently works three days a week at the Social Investment Agency as the Chief Māori Advisor. The other two days a week he devotes to Māori research and policy projects.