Dr. nicola Ngawati (she/her)

Dr Nicola Ngawati.jpg

Dr Nicola Ngawati (Ngapuhi, Ngāti Hine) - Kaiwhakahaere Matua (Director), Joint

Nicola leads the Mana Wāhine joint roopū (in partnership with Te Puni Kōkiri). This roopū is leading the government response to the Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry currently before the Waitangi Tribunal and focuses on improving outcomes for wāhine, kōtiro, and whānau Māori across the state sector.


Nicola joins the Ministry following a varied career in the New Zealand diplomatic service. During her policy career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Nicola led policy engagement on a range of issues impacting New Zealand. Nicola has represented New Zealand offshore in Brussels, Belgium (Second Secretary), Rarotonga, Cook Islands (Deputy High Commissioner/Acting High Commissioner) and in many regional and international contexts.


Nicola has significant experience working on the interface of the Crown/Māori relationship in the public sector and has been actively involved in kaupapa Māori and advocacy for wāhine Māori. Nicola was raised in Auckland and holds degrees in Law (Auckland); Masters in Public Policy (Victoria); PGDipBusAdmin Management (Massey) and a PhD (Victoria University School of Government). Her research centres on how Māori are represented as part of New Zealand’s diplomacy through people, art, and design. In 2020, Nicola was appointed to the Board of Diversity Works New Zealand as one of the public sector representatives.