Tāwhaki reached to the heavens to gather mātauranga. Through a rejuvenated Kaitorete we will retrace the journey of Tāwhaki to grow that mātauranga for the future of people and planet.

“While we look to the sky, so must we keep our feet firmly in the whenua.”

The name Tāwhaki was chosen for our unique kaupapa as it speaks to the history, and the future, and is at the heart of what this partnership is all about.

Ngāi Tahu pūrākau tells the story of the demi-god Tāwhaki who sought celestial knowledge from his gods. In searching out the pathway, being adaptive and innovative, and using his sheer tenacity in climbing to the heavens, Tāwhaki gained experience and knowledge and relied on the guidance of others to be successful in his endeavours to support life on Papatūānuku.

During his discoveries, Tāwhaki encountered Tuna, the eel, who on hearing from Tāwhaki about the bounties of the earth, descended to this place to live in the cool waters. This pūrākau draws on our whakapapa to taonga, flora and fauna, including tororaro found in abundance on Kaitorete, and speaks to our vision of retracing the journey of Tāwhaki to grow mātauranga for the future of people and planet.

Our values Ngā uara

Our uara (values) underpin and are reflected in all that we do, along with the tikanga and kawa of Te Taumutu Rūnanga and Wairewa Rūnanga.

Hone Wetere Church


Whai atu te ara hei te tihi o te karu me te ara tukutuku pūngāwerewere

Seek out the pathway across the wave tops and climb the strong vine to reach your goals.

We will be creative, innovative, and use entrepreneurial behaviours to realise potential. We will approach the journey with a solutions-based attitude and will draw inspiration from the early feats of Maui and Tāwhaki which included travel across vast spaces and the gathering of celestial knowledge.

Wairewa Rūnanga Tamariki


Te kānohi o Tāwhaki

Like Tāwhaki’s eyes that became the rātā flower, ensure the beauty of the taiao is cared for and flourishes.

We will actively tend, guard, and take care of Kaitorete – our environment, our people, and our relationships. We will approach opportunities with holistic stewardship that protects and provides choices for future generations.

Kaitorete Whenua Blessing


Mā te tuakana te teina e tōtika, mā te teina te tuakana e tōtika

Through healthy relationships and respect for diversity of thought and action, the right pathways will be chosen.

We value and respect relationships – relationships between people and relationships of the natural world order. We support, care, and uplift others and demonstrate this through respect, aroha, open communication, being inclusive, and thinking holistically in our approach.

Dawn Aerospace


Kia mau ki te aka matua; kei mau ki te aka tāepa

Seek out and hold firm to the path that is true, strong, and leads you to your goal.

We will be enduring, courageous, focused on the kaupapa, and true to ourselves and our communities. We are committed to being steadfast in our approach to enacting positive action and outcomes. We will bring solution-based thinking, be open to new knowledge and act decisively with transparency, integrity and take responsibility for our decisions.

Te Poari o Tāwhaki

The board

Our board provides governance over our strategy, and oversees the performance and commitments to our Shareholders.

Henrietta Carroll

Chair of the Board, Wairewa Rūnanga Representative

David Perenara-O’Connell

Spokesperson, Te Taumutu Rūnanga Representative

Megen McKay

Te Taumutu Rūnanga Representative (Alternate)

James Morrison

Wairewa Rūnanga Representative (Alternate)

Te Kapa o Tāwhaki

The team

Our Team is made up of innovative and inspired people who share our vision, and are proud of the kaupapa and the journey ahead. As we move forward the team will be agile and evolve to achieve our strategic pou.

Linda Falwasser

Chief Executive Officer


Stan Topping

Head of Aerospace Strategy and Global Partnerships


Julian Phillips

Head of Whenua Planning and Rejuvenation


Dyanna Jolly

Indigenous Planning and Environmental Management Advisor


Alicia Wainui-Glasson

General Manager


Te Puawai Perenara-O’Connell

Project Coordinator


Raphael Hilbron

Strategic Communications and Engagement Advisor

Erana Riddell

Project Coordinator


Renee Parsons

Communications Manager


John Mann

Aerospace Project Manager


Dr. Avinash Rao

Technical Advisor Space


Rulon Nutira

Kaitorete Ranger