Aroha Te Pareake Mead, (NZ)

Aroha Te Pareake Mead - Chair of CEESP 2013-2016


Aroha Te Pareake Mead is from the Ngati Awa and Ngati Porou tribes (Maori) of Aotearoa, New Zealand. She brings significant expertise and experience to the role of Chair of the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) as an indigenous researcher, scholar and advocate.

Aroha is an indigenous researcher and scholar best known for her work on indigenous cultural and intellectual property and environmental issues. Her degree is in International Relations. Currently a Senior Lecturer in Maori Business, School of Management at Victoria University of Wellington, Aroha teaches courses on the Treaty of Waitangi Settlements process, Maori Resource Management and Indigenous Cultural & Intellectual Property issues. She has over 30 years experience working at tribal, national, Pacific regional and international levels and has published extensively on indigenous sustainable development, intellectual property issues. A selected list of her publications can be found at:  

Prior to her academic work, Aroha had a successful public service career in roles that focussed on social justice, equity and Maori development (Ministry of Maori Development, Education Review Office, Human Rights Commission). Before that, she was a TV Journalist working on documentaries & current affairs.

In 2011, CEESP organised its first global conference, Sharing Power: A New Vision for Development, held in Whakatane, New Zealand. The Conference built on past work of the Commission while charting a new pathway for CEESP to contribute to the vision of IUCN “a just world that conserves nature’. Many of the heartland issues of the Commission (such as promoting community rights-based approaches to conservation including indigenous rights; analysis of the impact of finance, trade and investment on the environment, role of culture in conservation, private sector accountability, governance and equity issues) are now more firmly included in IUCN’s global programme.

Experience in IUCN

Aroha was appointed to the IUCN Council in 2000 with special responsibilities for indigenous issues. She was re-appointed to the same role in 2004. At the World Conservation Congress (WCC) in Barcelona, Aroha was elected as Chair of CEESP and was re-elected to serve a second term as CEESP Chair at the WCC in Jeju. During her time on the Council, Aroha has participated in the Gender & Biodiversity & Private Sector Task Forces. She was a member of the Resolutions Committee for the Bangkok Congress and Co-Chair of Resolutions Committee for the Barcelona Congress. Aroha was on the Preparatory Committee for the WCC in Jeju. 2008-2012, Aroha served as ‘Chair’ of the Commission Chairs. This accumulated experience means that Aroha has an in-depth understanding of IUCN as a unique Member’s Union, the challenges of the Union’s governance, and working directly with IUCN Members and Commissions.

Message from the Chair