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Nau Mai | Welcome

E kore au e ngaro, he kākano i ruia mai i Rangiātea
I shall never be lost, for I am a seed descended from Rangiātea

Kia ora, nau mai haere mai! Hello, and welcome!

As the proverb above reminds us, we are seeds of our ancestors and we will never be lost as long as we honour their memory.

In Māori culture Rangiatea is a name for a source of Māori knowledge.

Grounded in ancestral wisdom our focus is on working with people to help them create exciting pathways to new futures.

Tū Toa 2024

Māori are expert innovators, creators and community builders. We are fortunate to have many outstanding Māori success stories. But what is it about some of these amazing successes that are uniquely Māori? How can we as a community take the mātauranga from some of our most successful leaders, and the innovation they are leading, and apply that to our future planning for success? 

Join us at a conference like no other, Tū Toa 2024, where we will hear success stories from Māori leaders, and navigate Māori success together, generating insights and lessons throughout the day.

Ratonga | Services

Is 2024 your year? Are you ready to chase your next goal?

I might be able to help you. If you are looking for a coach I might be just what you are looking for. I have a background in education. For 20 years I taught in the tertiary sector, for 20 I've worked in the NGO, iwi and public sector. Across four decades I have worked hard to be of public service.

I've been around, in a good way.

If you want to check me out I post regularly on LinkedIn about Māori Development, Treaty Based Organizational Development, Mana Wahine and Living Your Best Life.


Whakapapa | Our Story

Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōnā te ngahere

The forest belongs to the bird who feasts on the miro berry

Ko te manu e kai ana i te matauranga, nōnā te ao

The world belongs to the bird who feasts on education

This whakatauāki, proverb, speaks to the essence of who we are and what we do.

Kathie Irwin & Associates is a consultancy that specialises in education, research and training. We believe in the value of education and its power to transform.

We bring to our work academic and professional training, decades of work experience, and a passion to make a difference in a world crying out for new expressions of humanity.

Too many people have been denied hope and opportunity for too long.

Education opens up possibilities and creates change.

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My pūtake, purpose, is to use education as a vehicle to build new futures with people, organisations and communities. I am a teacher, a writer and a researcher.


I am deeply grateful to Tā Derek Lardelli for my taonga. In the most precious high trust model Tā Derek asked me why I had gone to him to receive my moko kauae. As I responded, he drew this creation, then, in the presence of my whānau, gifted it to us all, through me.

I was born in Waipiro Bay (East Coast New Zealand) into a whānau of mixed ancestry, Ngāti Porou, Rakaipaaka, Ngāti Kahungunu, the Orkney Islands, Scotland and Ireland. Being open to diverse views of the world, and their origins, is a powerful feature of our whanau legacy. My grandparents and parents were visionaries, entrepreneurs, and social activists. Being purposeful, honouring the gifts from our ancestors and creating social change, were strong messages from my whānau. I was born into a whanau where I was expected to use the gifts of my ancestry to benefit others.

There are three themes expressed through my moko kauae which articulate the company why, what and how:

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1. Koru, Vision

The koru symbol represents the vision 'E tipu, e rea', that Sir Apirana Ngata dedicated to a young Māori woman in her autograph book. The proverb, 'E tipu, e rea' encouraged the young woman to grow and flourish celebrating both the legacy of her ancestors whilst embracing any new knowledge available to her. We champion 'E tipu, e rea' as a model for the kind of humanity the world so desperately needs.


2. Mangōpare, Courage

Mangōpare, is the hammerhead shark. The Mangōpare represents strength, leadership, agility, tenacity, unrelenting determination, courage, and wealth.


This proverb is insightful about the mangōpare:

Kaua e mate wheke mate ururoa

Don't die like a octopus, die like a hammerhead shark


A hammerhead shark will fight bitterly to the end, to the point that when you fillet it fresh, its meat quivers. Commonly used to encourage someone not to give up, no matter how hard the struggle is. We relish challenges to create innovation and change.


3. Ngā hau e whā, Globalisation

Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro nōnā te ngahere, ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga nōnā te ao

The forest belongs to the bird who feasts on the miro berry, the world belongs to the bird who feasts on education.

We are ready to take new thinking to the world. In a COVID- 19 world our website will be the vehicle that opens the world up.

My daughter-in-law Sam Irwin has worked with a graphic designer to stylise this version of Tā Dereks taonga for the company logo of Kathie Irwin & Associates. It features on the home page of the company website, and across all collateral, reminding us of our what, why and how.

 Most of the professional photos for the website have been done by my good friend Tania Niwa, Grand Master Photographer, of Taranaki.

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