O'Regan, ONZM

Tumu Whakarae | Chief Executive Officer

Hana O'Regan, ONZM : linkedin.com/Hana-O'Regan
Region: Canterbury/Chatham Islands
Hana O'Regan


Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) 

Doctor of Philosophy – Auckland University of Technology 
Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo Māori | Institute of Excellence in Te Reo Māori – Te Wānanga o Aotearoa
Master of Arts – University of Otago
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects – University of Otago
Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) – University of Cambridge
Bachelor of Arts in Māori Studies and Political Science – Victoria University of Wellington

Professional profile

Since late 2020 Dr Hana O’Regan has been Tumu Whakarae of Tātai Aho Rau Core Education. She has worked in the areas of language revitalisation, identity and cultural development, te reo Māori and education for over 30 years.

Hana is a published author, a public speaker and composer and is recognised internationally for her work in indigenous language acquisition and revitalisation. A graduate of Te Panekiretanga – Institute of Excellence in Te Reo Māori, Hana is widely respected for her Māori language contribution, skills and advocacy.

Hana’s passion for education and community, history and equity has resulted in a career committed to working with organisations, businesses and individuals to support and enhance positive outcomes for learners and whānau.

Hana has held many positions on national boards, review panels and committees across the areas of education, Māori development, national identity, Treaty rights and policies and health.

In 2021 Hana was appointed as a member to The Waitangi Tribunal.

Hana was honoured with an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, in the 2024 New Years Honours list for services to education.


  • Excellence in te reo Māori, teaching te reo
  • Mātauraka Māori
  • Strategic planning
  • Culturally responsive practice
  • Identity and cultural development
  • Workforce development and cultural transformation
  • Public speaking
  • Expert in language revitalisation

Recent publications

2018 Kotahi Mano Kāika, Kotahi Mano Wawata – A Thousand Homes, a Thousand Dreams: Permission to Dream Again, In. The Routledge Handbook of Language Revitalisation. Leanne Hinton, Leena Huss, Gerald Roche eds; Routledge Press, New York, USA

2015 Ka Rewa te Kohu, in A Beautiful Hesitation – Fiona Pardington, Wellington City Libraries.

Recent conferences presentations, seminars and workshops

  • 2020: Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Conference – Christchurch Town Hall, Christchurch. Title: Kia kitea mai, ka rakona ai - When you see me, you can hear me, Developing a narrative for Cultural Wellbeing. Keynote speaker.
  • 2020: Tangata Whenua Caucus of National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuge (NCIWR) – Mana Wahine Conference. Title: Kai a tātau te tikaka – Ko Waitaiki te tauira. Keynote speaker.
  • 2020: National Indigenous Youth Empowerment Summit – Building empowered futures. Shari-La Hotel, Cairns, Australia. Title: Whatua te Topuni Tamariki – Mō Tātau me kā Uri ā muri ake nei – Weave the Children’s cloak – For us and our children after us. Keynote speaker and panel member, Child Protection Stream.
  • 2020: Waimairiiri Kāhui Ako Annual Conference – Burnside High School, Christchurch. Title: Kia kitea mai, ka rakona ai - Amplifying Narratives for Student Success. Keynote Speaker.
  • 2020: Waitematā Kāhui Ako Annual Conference – Waitematā High School, Christchurch. Title: Developing a Narrative for Cultural Wellbeing. Keynote Speaker.
  • 2019: ANZSSA – Australia and New Zealand Student Services Association Conference, Otago University, Dunedin. Title: Aka atu ōku whatu ki te manuhaea, e pōkaitia ana e kā kupu ā ōna tīpuna – raise my eyes to the torn bird, encircled by the words of her ancestors.
  • 2019: New Zealand Linguistic Society Conference, University of Canterbury, Christchurch. Title: Aohia kā purapura ā rātau mā, kia tūperepere ki waeka - Clutch the seeds of the elders So that the garden may be fruitful.
  • 2019: Te Puna o Te Kī Conference, Te Ipukārea, AUT University, Hopuhopu, Waikato. Ka whakatika au ki ruka. Title: Ka whakatika au ki ruka. Co presenter with Mananui Ramsden.
  • 2019: Manatū Taonga – Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Seminar Series. Te Puni Kōkiri House, Wellington. He aha tā tātau i kite ai – What is it we see?
  • 2019: Orewa – Kāhui Ako Annual Conference. Orewa High School. Orewa Arts and Events Centre. Tō reo ki te raki, tō mana ki te whenua -Let your story be heard in the heavens – and your mana be restored to the land.
  • 2019: Te Puni Kōkiri summit on homelessness. Te Puni Kōkiri, Christchurch. Te Puni Kōkiri, He pirika whare, he pirika takata - A place of refuge, A people connected
  • 2019: Riccarton – Kāhui Ako Annual Conference. Riccarton High School. Tō reo ki te raki, tō mana ki te whenua Let your story be heard in the heavens – and your mana be restored to the land.
  • 2018: uLearn18 conference, Sky City, Auckland. Title: Tō reo ki te raki, tō mana ki te whenua.
  • 2018: Hutt City Kindergartens Annual Conference, Te Papa, Wellington. Title: Aoraki Matatū Identity and Cultural Locatedness


  • New Zealand Fellow, International Centre of Language Revitalisation (ICLR), AUT, August 2011 – present time
  • 2010 Ngāi Tahu Language Awards, 2010 Teacher of the Year
  • 2008 MONTANA Book Awards, Inaugural Award for Te Reo Māori, for “Te Tū a te Toka”, contributor, author of Chapter ‘Te Ika a Kahue’
  • 2008 LIANZA Children’s Book Awards, Kura Pounamu Award, for “Te Kete Ika a Rākaihautū”, co-authored with Charisma Rangipunga

Personal statement

I have a passion for education, equity and development and the fostering of opportunities for learners through meaningful educational pathways.

I am a fluent speaker of Māori and have worked in the area of language revitalisation within my Kāi Tahu people, nationally across Aotearoa, and with a number of indigenous communities around the world for over 25 years.

My commitment to community, people and culture has resulted in a career involved in strategic planning and development where I have been able to use my creativity and problem solving skills to work with amazing teams to transform outcomes for whānau.