Resignation of the Managing Director of Māori Women’s Development Inc

WELLINGTON, New Zealand. – April 29, 2022 — Māori Women’s Development Incorporated (MWDI) today announced that its Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of Teresa Tepania-Ashton MNZM as CEO.

Ms. Tepania-Ashton was appointed CEO of MWDI in 2011. She was previously CEO of Te Runanga-a-Iwi o Ngapuhi from 2004 to 2011.

Having worked internationally with Citibank, she put her decades of experience in community and corporate governance to work for her people as a conscious, decisive, astute, nurturing and empowering leader for MWDI and te Iwi Māori.

During her tenure, Teresa continued the foundations of the organization to help wāhine (women) and their whānau (family) start a new business or grow their existing businesses through her programs and services.

The board has appointed Linda Clay, head of MWDI Finance & Lending as interim CEO, effective May 18, 2022. Linda has been with MWDI since 2012. The board will begin searching for a permanent CEO in the coming months .

Māori Women’s Development Inc President, Māreikura Druis Barrett CNZM, QSM said, “The Board would like to thank Teresa for her tireless commitment and dedication to MWDI and putting it back on the map. She will be missed by all of us and we wish her the best for her new and exciting adventures as she takes up her new role with UNICEF Aotearoa as Director of Advocacy and Programs in early June 2022. I am delighted to Having Linda expand her responsibilities at MWDI and as a Board of Directors, we have every confidence in her abilities to successfully lead the organization. Linda has played a major role in the success of the organization and is ideally suited to take on these additional responsibilities due to her integral knowledge of all aspects of the organization and her strong relationships through Te Ao Māori.

The Board of Māori Women’s Development Inc has also confirmed its commitment to continue supporting its clients, the wāhine and their whānau through tremendous and ongoing leadership, programs and services.

Māori Women’s Development Inc promotes the economic development of wāhine and their whānau to ensure that Māori contribute equitably to our cultural, spiritual, economic, social and political achievements.

Māori Women’s Development Inc is a unique, indigenous organization that helps Māori women start a new business or grow an existing business through its MWDI Business Loans, MWDI HineBossTM, MWDI Te Aka Mentoring Services and showcase their businesses in Aotearoa New Zealand, the Asia-Pacific region and other global markets and indigenous economies.

Ms Tepania-Ashton said: “I would like to thank the Board, my incredible team, whānau and the many allies and supporters for their unwavering leadership, support, friendships and aroha over the years. I look forward to seeing the organization grow with Linda at the helm and wish Māori Women’s Development Inc and the wāhine serve all the best for the future”.

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Mara R. Wilmoth