Jo Heperi who is of Ngāti Hāmua descent is the current RMA officer for Rangitāne o Tamaki Nui a Rua. She has recently also taken on the kaimahi role in representation of Rangitāne o Tamaki nui a Rua for the Te Ahu a Tūranga roading project.
Jo has a had a great educational journey which is worth mentioning. For half of her life Jo worked in the shearing sheds which she loved and because it was seasonal she decided to purchase a computer to study and broaden her educational knowledge.
She came across an advertisement in the local newspaper and discovered that there was an EIT regional Learning Centre in Waipukurau offering a Level 2 computer program which worked out great as she lives just down the road in Takapau. She loved the course and had a feeling it would open up more educational opportunities for herself and she was right as she went on to do a level 3 qualification and a diploma in Business.
In 2007 she was offered a job at that learning centre to become a learning facilitator and a few months later as an assistant for students with disabilities. She went on to get a diploma in therapeutic massage at the Lotus Holistic Centre in Hastings which saw her open her own massage business and also teach an introductory massage course at EIT.
She joined the Taiwhenua o Tamatea in a project monitoring the water of the rivers in the Central Hawkes Bay. This is what started her conservation and environmental interests. She went on to study at Te Wānanga o Raukawa doing the Poutuarongo Kaitiakitanga Pūtaiao, a Bachelor in Environmental Management where she graduated in 2017 with a degree. Jo went and completed a diploma in Te Reo Māori as she always wanted to stand up and do her pepeha confidently at Hui but had not learnt like some of her other siblings who are fluent, she went on to lecture a basic Te Reo Māori course at the Learning Centre and loved passing on her knowledge and love for Te Reo Māori and all that comes with it. Jo loves being at the Learning Centre and giving back to the whānau within her community and also loves her roles within Rangitāne o Tamaki Nui a Rua Incorporated.