Maori Research Institute - Director & Projects Manager
Deputy Chair - TeArawa FoMA
Eric Thomas Hirau (Tom) Walters – Tom, was born in Rotorua and affiliates with Te Arawa, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Raukawa, Tuhoe and Toa through his mother’s side. Tom’s education was structured around affordable housing architecture and he retains that interest today albeit overrun with the political world of Maoridom.
His late Grandmother was Rangitopeora Te Amoroa Chase-Davies and his great grandparents on his Grandmother’s side were Rangingangana Te Amoroa Hemopo and Hemopo Toroa Hikarahui. Tom’s families are Reweti, Te Urutoa, Poihipi, Hemopo, Ohomairangi, Chase and others.
Tom opted for a career in sport, both on rugby playing fields and racing on the oceans of the world. During that tenure Tom represented New Zealand, Australia and the USA in sailing and in 1983 was responsible for the initial setting up of the New Zealand America’s Cup, as Crew Boss and Grinder on the boats. Tom’s interests include active involvement as a coach in swimming, yacht racing, triathlon and rugby. Golf plays an important role is Tom's life these days.
Tom is passionate about creating partnership ventures which connect Maori with education, academics and business. Currently Tom is involved and committed to developing successful ventures, into retaining certain Maori lands of greater significance, conservation, utilising renewable resources for generation of power, including wind power, geothermal and hydroelectric and is also looking into the viability of solar energy. Tom is also interested in farming, better farming practices, hydroponics, commercial utilisation of geothermal resources, orchards, honey, timber, building and the Resource Management Act.
Tom is married to American, Alexandra Garmany, BFA. They have two children, Chase, a Business Analyst and Cherokee, a secondary student.