Tokowhā ōku Maunga Ko Hikurangi, ko Taranaki, ko Tongariro, tae noa ki Aoraki nei Kei te taha o tōku Ngāi Tahutanga Ko Hikaroroa te maunga Ko Waikouaiti te awa Ko Huirapa te Tīpuna He urī nō Puketeraki James was born in Māwhera (Greymouth). James earned his Bachelor of Tourism Management at Lincoln University and went on to complete a certificate in te reo Māori at Ara Institute of Canterbury, Te Puna Wānaka. James worked in Rotorua for five years at Rainbow Springs Conservation Park as a tour guide, wildlife and animal behavioural specialist, and park staff Team Leader. He moved to Ōtautahi to lead the cultural coordination strategy across Ngāi Tahu Tourism entities before becoming Team Leader of the Hauora Team at the Trust and serving as one of the Trust’s cultural advisors. When he is not busy with his mahi, James enjoys surfing, fishing, jamming on his guitar and spending time with whānau. Respect, hard work and whānau are important to James. He is passionate about whānau achieving their goals and aspirations. James would like to see Māori whānau connect to their culture to achieve financial stability, good health, secure housing, and career goals of successful futures, thriving in the economic environment while remaining grounded in their whakapapa and culture.