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Ministry Leadership Team

Meet our Te Kāhui Mataaho, Ministry Leadership Team

Heather Baggott

Tumu Whakarae
Chief Executive

Heather Baggott (Ngāti Maniapoto) is te Tumu Whakarae mō ngā Taonga, Acting Secretary for Culture and Heritage and Chief Executive, taking up this role in July 2022. 

Heather returned to Manatū Taonga after working as Pou Arataki Te Pae Mahara, Manager, Delivery from 2016-2018. Following this, she joined Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission, initially as Assistant Commissioner where part of her responsibilities were for Culture and Heritage, and then as Deputy Public Service Commissioner. In this role, Heather had a particular focus on the Māori-Crown interface, leadership development and the diversity and inclusion priorities across the public service. 

Heather also has extensive experience in Treaty settlements through previous roles at Ministry of Justice and in a private capacity as a negotiations advisor for her iwi, Ngāti Maniapoto.

To contact Heather, please email her Executive Assistant Bridie Cooper: [email protected]

Glenis Philip-Barbara 

Pou Mataaho o Te Hua 
Deputy Chief Executive, Delivery

Glenis Philip-Barbara, who is of Ngāti Uepōhatu and Ngāti Porou descent, is Pou Mataaho o Te Hua, Deputy Chief Executive Delivery. Glenis has been in the role since July 2022. 

Glenis has thirty years of experience working in all aspects of the public and community sectors including working with whānau, hapū and iwi to recover mātauranga Māori. 

Glenis joined Manatū Taonga from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, where she was te Kaikōmihana Māori mō ngā Tamariki ō Aotearoa, Assistant Māori Commissioner for Children. Glenis has also worked at Gisborne District Council and Te Hā Trust in Tairāwhiti, and in the public sector she has had roles at both Ministry for Social Development and was the Chief Executive at Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori Māori Language Commission. 

Te Hua is comprised of three teams: Te Pae Wānanga, Te Pae Māpuna and Te Pae Mahara. Within Te Pae Wānanga, historians, researchers, designers and developers tell stories about New Zealand history and who New Zealanders are today. Te Pae Mahara looks after national monuments and sites, including the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, and war graves throughout New Zealand. Te Pae Mahara also supports commemorations and anniversaries. Te Pae Māpuna administers the Protected Objects Act and the Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act, which looks after national symbols like the flag, the Coat of Arms, and uses of the words Royal and Anzac. Te Pae Māpuna is also responsible for funding Waitangi Day events and regional culture and heritage.

To contact Glenis, please email her Executive Assistant, Sarah de Renzy: [email protected].

Matthew Oliver

Pou Mataaho o Te Iho
Deputy Chief Executive, Organisational Performance

Matthew Oliver

Matthew Oliver is Pou Mataaho o Te Iho, Deputy Chief Executive Organisational Performance, taking up this role in September 2022 on an acting basis until the end of June 2023.

Matthew has been with Manatū Taonga since 2008, most recently as Pou Tohu Rautaki i te Tumu Whakarae, Strategic Advisor to the Chief Executive. This followed time at the Parliament as a private secretary for Arts, Culture and Heritage ministers and various roles in the Ministry’s publishing and web teams. Matthew has extensive experience in publishing and the digital heritage sector, working in legal, academic and reference publishing in New Zealand and the UK and digital project management at the National Library and here at Manatū Taonga. Matthew is a former Library and Information Advisory Commission member and former member and chair of the National Digital Forum. Matthew lives in Ngaio with his partner and two sons; he likes TV, reads books, buys the occasional painting, and helps some local environment groups (bush restoration and predator control).

Te Iho provides organisation-wide and corporate services to support Manatū Taonga to deliver on its work programme and priorities across our three portfolios – Arts, Culture and Heritage, Broadcasting and Media, and Sports and Recreation. Te Iho is responsible for keeping the Ministry running efficiently and effectively and includes communications, facilities, finance, human resources, information management and technology, legal, ministerial services, and portfolio and accountability reporting functions. 

To contact Matthew, please email Saoirse O'Sullivan: [email protected]

Mere-Hēni Simcock-Rēweti

Pou Mataaho o Te Pae Huarewa
Deputy Chief Executive, Māori Capability and Engagement

Mere-Hēni Simcock-Rēweti (Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga a Māhaki) is the Pou Mataaho o Te Pae Huarewa, Deputy Chief Executive Māori Capability and Engagement, taking up this role in August 2022. 

Mere-Hēni is experienced in translating strategy into action through many senior leadership roles in the public sector. Most recently she was the Director at Te Arawhiti – The Office for Māori Crown Relations, working to build public sector capability in Māori-Crown engagement and partnerships, including facilitating the inaugural Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki. Mere-Hēni has championed Māori language revitalisation at both Te Mātawai, the first independent statutory entity for te reo Māori, and at Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori. A highlight for Mere-Hēni has been supporting iwi Māori planning initiatives, including assisting her own iwi to develop Toitū te Reo o Ngāti Porou, the Ngāti Porou Iwi Language Strategy. 

Te Pae Huarewa leads the Ministry’s Māori Crown capability to build effective engagement with iwi Māori – both of which are critical to strengthening Māori Crown relations.

Emily Fabling

Pou Mataaho o Te Aka
Deputy Chief Executive, Policy and Sector Performance

Emily Fabling

Emily Fabling is the Pou Mataaho o Te Aka, Deputy Chief Executive, Policy and Sector Performance. Emily has been in the role since November 2021.

Emily is an experienced DCE having spent the last four years as Deputy Secretary Strategy, Planning and Governance, Te Ohu Rautaki at the Ministry of Education — Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga. In that role Emily led the strategy, sector performance, legal, corporate communications and ministerial servicing areas for the Ministry. Emily’s policy background includes senior roles in education, labour and immigration policy, as well as leading programmes of national significance. Emily has also been a board member for Fulbright New Zealand, and retains her voluntary board role for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award.

The Te Aka group provides policy advice to the government on arts, culture, heritage, broadcasting, and sports and recreation. Te Aka works on policy proposals, legislation and reviews that are significant to the cultural sector. The group also monitors the government's interests in the cultural sector agencies which receive crown funding, including supporting ministers with board appointments and governance advice.

To contact Emily, please email her Executive Assistant, Keely Newcombe: [email protected]

Joe Fowler

Pou Mataaho o Te Aka Tūhono
Deputy Chief Executive, Investment and Outcomes

Joe Fowler

Joe Fowler is the Pou Mataaho o Te Aka Tūhono, Deputy Chief Executive Investment and Outcomes, taking up this role in September 2021.

Joe joined us from Oranga Tamariki, where he was the General Manager Commissioning for four years. Before this, Joe was a senior manager in central and local government in the United Kingdom. Joe has spent the last 15 years of his career finding creative and collaborative ways of using public funding to support improved outcomes. Joe has also led significant change within and across organisations. At Oranga Tamariki, Joe worked with iwi, Māori, non-governmental organisations, and internal stakeholders to completely re-design the agency's procurement, funding and contracting.

Te Aka Tūhono, the Investment and Outcomes Group manages Te Tahua Whakamarohi Cultural Sector Regeneration Fund, providing $150 million to support the arts and culture sector.

To contact Joe, please email the Investment and Outcomes administration team: [email protected]


Updated on 15th September 2022