‘Whai’ Dewes, of Ngāti Porou and Ngati Rangitihi descent, holds a powerful postition among a number of key organisations.
Chairman of Sealord, which announced the investment of $70 million in fisheries vessels in August 2016, with the intention of being the best deep sea fisheries company in New Zealand. In early 2016 he was appointed to the board of Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd and he has served in a number of seafood-related roles including the first 10 years on the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission.
He is a former Director of Moana Pacific Fisheries and was Deputy Chair of Sealord from 1992 to 2008. As well as being active in the affairs of his Iwi, Mr Dewes is also on the boards of Contact Energy, and the Treasury and has held directorships at TVNZ and AMP NZ Advisory Board.
Also a climate change Iwi group leader he continues to collect significant advisory and directorships as he steps into an increasingly influencial role as a Maori leader.
His former directorships include Television New Zealand Limited, Housing New Zealand and the AMP New Zealand Advisory Board, and he was deputy chairman of Sealord Group between 1992 and 2008. He has also held senior management roles at Fletcher Challenge and the Department of Mäori Affairs.
Whaimutu has a Master’s degree in public administration and degrees in arts and law.