Mō Mātou │ Profiles

Horiana Irwin-Easthope

Tumu Whakarae │ Managing Director

Ngāti Porou (Te Whānau a Putaanga), Rakaipaaka, Ngāti Kahungunu

Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of NZ

LL.B., B.A. in Māori Resource Management │ Victoria University
LL.M. │ Harvard Law School

Horiana is a critical legal thinker with a reputation for hard work. She pushes the status quo to affect change within, and outside of, the legal system to recognise the unique place of whānau, hapū and iwi within Aotearoa. Horiana consistently strives to provide quality legal and strategic advice, tailored to achieve desired outcomes for her clients.

Prior to establishing Whāia Legal, Horiana worked at Russell McVeagh, in their Resource Management, Māori Legal and Commercial Litigation teams, and at Kāhui Legal. Horiana has appeared in the Waitangi Tribunal, Environment Court, Māori Land Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Horiana is also regularly involved in alternative dispute resolutions processes.

Horiana and Scotty are māmā and pāpā to Rōpata Te Kauru-o-Te-Rangi Easthope. Horiana speaks Te Reo Māori.

Maia Wikaira

Tumuaki │ Director

Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi

Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of NZ
Admitted as an Attorney of the Yurok Tribal Court, California

LL.B.(Hons), B.A. │ University of Otago, Dunedin
LL.M. │ Stanford Law School

Maia is a dynamic legal communicator with a talent for effective, values-based engagement on complex issues. She makes the law speak in the language of the people it is dealing with, distilling complex legal concepts into accessible, fit-for-purpose advice that is informed by the context in which it operates.

Prior to joining Whāia Legal, Maia worked for the largest federally recognised tribe in California, the Yurok Tribe. There she was admitted to practise Yurok Tribal Law, and also represented the tribe in engagement with federal, state and other tribal governments. Maia maintains her practising certificate in Yurok Tribal Law. Before her time in the US, Maia worked at Russell McVeagh, in their Resource Management, Māori Legal and Commercial Litigation teams, and at Kāhui Legal. Maia has appeared in the Waitangi Tribunal, Environment Court, Māori Land Court, High Court and Court of Appeal.

Maia speaks Te Reo Māori and conversational Spanish.

Mihiarangi Piripi

Tumuaki │ Director

Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi (Te Māhurehure)

Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of NZ
Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland
Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Western Australia

LL.B., B.C.A in Accounting │ Victoria University

Mihiarangi is known for her ability to design effective legal solutions in the post settlement landscape. Importantly, she understands the need to balance cultural considerations in the commercial world. Mihiarangi believes in the importance of relationships and her approach is collaborative and democratic.

Mihiarangi joined Whāia Legal from Kensington Swan, where she worked in their Corporate and Commercial team. Prior to this, Mihiarangi spent many years working with Traditional Owner groups across Australia, assisting with the negotiation of Indigenous Land Use Agreements under the Native Title Act and the establishment and implementation of benefit management structures.

Mihiarangi and Joel are busy parents to their three tamariki, Amaia, Whaitua and Piata. Mihiarangi speaks Te Reo Māori.

Tai Ahu

Kaiārahi Ture │ Consultant

Waikato, Ngāti Kahu, Te Paatu

Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of NZ

LL.B., B.A. in Māori Studies and History │ Victoria University of Wellington
LL.M. (Distinction) │ Victoria University of Wellington

Tai works closely alongside his clients to understand their broader context in order to provide tailored advice. Tai has wide ranging expertise advising on Māori legal issues, commercial law and trust law.

Tai has appeared in the Waitangi Tribunal, the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Tai has held both legal and management roles, most recently as the Chief Executive of Hineuru Iwi Trust. Tai is involved in several legal research projects and has taught the law of ethics, Māori land law and statutory interpretation as an Adjunct Lecturer at Victoria University’s law school. Tai also acts as General Counsel for Te Ohu Kaimoana on a part-time basis.

Tai and Awanui are pāpā and māmā to Te Waimarino. Tai speaks Te Reo Māori.

Riana Te Ngahue

Ākonga Ture │ Legal Intern

Ngāti Porou (Te Whānau-a-Tūwhakairiora)

Riana is in her final year at Victoria University of Wellington studying towards an LLB and BA majoring in Te Reo Māori. Riana is also the Tumuaki Wāhine (Co-President) of Ngā Rangahautira (the Māori Law Students’ Society) for 2020. Riana assists the Whāia Legal team with a range of kaupapa including legal research.

Riana speaks Te Reo Maori.