Teresa Tepania Ashton

Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand

Teresa Tepania-Ashton is the kind of quiet leader many find it easy to respect. After a 12-year career working internationally with Citibank (during which time she rose from Service Assistant to Vice President), she put her decades of community and corporate governance experience to work for her people. Teresa was the CEO of Te Rūnanga-a-Iwi o Ngāpuhi from 2004 – 2011. Today she is CEO of Māori Women’s Development Incorporated. Teresa would never say it, but the people she works with describe her as mindful, decisive, astute, a nurturing and an empowering leader. This shows when you consider the awards she’s received including: 2016 New Zealander of the year – Local Hero, 2016 Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for service to Māori and business, 2015 & 2016 finalist New Zealand Woman of Influence, 2009 Dame Mira Szaszy Alumni (University of Auckland). With 3 children and a growing tribe of mokopuna, Teresa is an inspiring and understated speaker. With credibility in hapū and iwi development, Reo Māori development, and governance across all sectors. She is truly a contemporary wahine Māori leader.


Overview of products/services

Maori Womens Development Inc provide loans to Māori women and their whānau to enable and assist them to enter into and commence business and/or to expand and restructure their existing businesses.  Alongside their lending service they offer other wrap around support via running workshops, one-on-one coaching and webinars.

Teresa Tepania Ashton, New Zealand