Mou i te kõ, Mou i te 'ere
Kia Pu Kuru o kaki, Kia Mokorā ô kakī

Our Board of Trustees

Hamish Crooks MNZM

Chairman, Auckland

Hamish is a New Zealand born of Cook Islands and Scottish heritage. He was born in Tokoroa and has been involved many governance and leadership roles in the private, public and community sectors over the last 35 years.

In 2016 he was recognised with a Queens Honours Award for his contributions Pacific and community with a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.  Hamish has always been passionate community and economic development for Cook Island and Pacific peoples. He started his professional career as a management accountant before moving from the corporate world to leadership roles in community development, the public service, his own management company and now as Chief Executive of Pacific Homecare Trust.

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Dr. George Ngaei

Trustee | Chairman of the Pacific Island Advisory & Cultural Trust

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Lena Wong

Trustee | Director at Complete Legal Ltd.


Consultant General and Endoscopic Surgeon

Chairman  Pacific Island Advisory Charitable Trust

Extensive governance experience and past member of numerous health related (and community) boards and committees.

Born in Rarotonga of Manihiki and Mitiaro descent.

Educated at Tereora College,  Napier Boys High School and Otago University.

Lena has been on the Board of Trustees since May 2016. She is of Cook Islands, Tahitian and Fijian descent but was raised in Vaka Takitumu in Rarotonga. Her grandfather was the late Teariki Framhein of Mauke/Atiu and her late grandmother was Mereana Monga Framhein of Rarotonga. Lena attended Nikao Maori Primary, Avatea Primary and then Nukutere College before moving to New Zealand to attend College and then University. Lena is currently a practicing lawyer in South Auckland and was recently made a Partner in her law firm.

Lena has previous work experience with both the Cook Islands Government and various New Zealand govt. ministries such as the Ministry of Pacific Island Peoples, Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Social Development. Lena is married to Harry Fatu Toleafoa and they live in Mangere. Lena is passionate about creating a prosperous Cook Islands community and supports the Trusts vision to combine the efforts of all Cook Islands people in New Zealand in one place.

Rose Marsters

Trustee | Strategic Pacific Director at Waikato Institute of Technology

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Mareta Matenga

Trustee | Project Manager at K'aute Pasifika

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Rose’s joy in life is aspiring to be a positive influence and role model for her six mokopuna.  She is supported in all her endeavours by her husband Dale and their four children.  Rose hopes to be able to make a significant difference in her community through collaboration that promotes constructive transformation that promotes positive change.  

Rose Marsters is a servant to her communities through her heart and her hands.  Her current PhD study in Indigenous Enhancement and Advancement.  It is led by ngākau (heart) in the hopes to encourage culturally responsive pedagogies and intelligence to support achievement and success for Indigenous people.

Her current lived experience has been varied in the service of people in local and wider communities from early childhood education, social services and currently in tertiary.  Her roles have involved building capability, authentic leadership development and working from a strengths and values based perspective that resonates with our Cook Islands culture.

Rose has been endorsed by Wintec in the Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Excellence Award (2017) and received the Staff Excellence Award and Māori Achievement Award, Wintec (2015).  She is a proud member of the Hamilton Cook Islands Association and is a passionate lead social transformation specialist in Manawanui Research Centre around its sustainability projects.

Mareta Cassandra Matenga (nee FORD) was born and raised in Hamilton, where she has called home for 47 years.  Her parents Ere (nee Marsters, Pamati Island) and the late George Ford (Vaipae, Aitutaki Island) and together with her 8 siblings built their lives in Hamilton, pioneering and serving their Hamilton Cook Islands Community and their Pacific Islands Presbyterian faith community for close to 60 years together.   

A sole parent for her only son Marque Cherish (24yrs, Makomako, Waharo, Tainui), who has blessed her with two Grandsons, Elijche-George (4yrs) and Ezeiah Aybal (1yrs). Mareta married her best friend Tapaki Matenga (Pukapuka Island) in 2015 and loves doing life with him.

Mareta has been working with young people for more than 30 years, in different capacities and joined the Hamilton City Council in 2002 as a Youth Worker. Mareta loves contributing to the Community Development space and building capacity within Hamilton communities.  She currently leads a team of Community Advisors as the Community Development Team Leader and currently has a focus on working with the Pasifika communities and supporting the development of the proposed Pan Pacific Hub. 

In 2019 Mareta completed the Mana Moana Experience programme with Leadership NZ and currently is challenging herself to learn her Cook Islands language. 


Mareta enjoys volunteering her time and serving as a Trustee/Board member for The Serve Trust, Hamilton Cook Islands Association Board, Pasifika By Nature Trust, Street Dance NZ Trust and the Westside Presbyterian Church Parish Council.  She enjoys cooking, travelling, making music and singing, spending time with family – in particular her mokopuna.

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Julius Daniels

Trustee | General Manager at YMCA South Waikato

Born and raised in the heart of the Timberland, I credit all I am and all I achieve firstly to our Heavenly Father and secondly to the village that is the 16th Island of the Cook Islands, Tokoroa.


I have a background in Community, Social Services, and the Youth Sector and in my professional role I serve as the General Manager of the South Waikato YMCA, a not for profit organisation that aims to build strong children, strong families and strong communities through the various programmes and services that we provide and deliver. The YMCA works predominantly with Youth and Children and is the core Youth Service for the South Waikato region.  

I am heavily involved with various community organisations that aim to promote and engage our Cook Islands and Pasifika languages and culture, actively advocate for youth within our community and serve to meet the needs of many. Overall it is my hope to bring the skills and experience I have to support the overarching vision and mission of CIDANZ moving towards the future.