Meet the education team

Te Huia Bill Hamilton 

Iwi/Hapu: Ngati Kahungunu (Ngai Tamaterangi), Nga Rauru (Hinewaiatarua), Ngati Raukawa (Ngati Whaita). 

Bill has two daughters and a son, seven mokopuna and a whangai daughter. His is partner Sandy. 

Bill attended Northland College (Kaikohe) and trained as a teacher in Palmerston North. He then taught at various primary schools from 1970 to 1986. He was an Advisor, Maori Education until 1998 and then worked for NZEI Te Riu Roa (education sector union) until 1999 when he became Branch Manager, Regions for Te Puni Kōkiri. In 2002, Bill was employed by the Human Rights Commission until 2015 and was responsible for the Treaty and human rights. 

In his spare time, Bill was an entertainer, worked in the freezing works, ran a restaurant and was a negotiator for Nga Rauru’s settlement of Treaty breaches. 

In retirement, Bill has a small consultancy that specialises in Treaty, human rights and community development.

Peter Mason


E Ngà Hau E Wha, E Ngà Mataawaka Tena Koutou.

Peter was born in Whakatane. At age 16, he enlisted in the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment where he trained as an All Arms Instructor. In 1985, Peter retired and settled in Christchurch.

He joined the Department of Labour where he worked with gang members and those alienated from society.

In 1990, Peter was visited by tribal Kaumàtua and moved back to Whakatane to help the transition of the tribe in their successful Waitangi claim. He spent four years assisting the tribe obtaining their Tino Rangatira Tanga, then returned to Christchurch.

He became a member of the Disabled Person’s Assembly (DPA) after his involvement with challenging the government to assist veterans who were suffering from Agent Orange poison.

Peter is currently involved with various government and non-government agencies in Kaumàtua and cultural advisor roles. These include Stand Children Services, Tù Maia Whanau, Nga Hau E Wha National Marae and Canterbury District Police. 

Dr Heather Barnett

Dr Heather Barnett is an independent researcher, policy analyst and human rights programme developer. She has a background in mental health and disability, and a strong interest in social justice, poverty and childhood trauma.

Heather has worked for the Mental Health Commission, the Mental Health Foundation and the Human Rights Commission. While contracted to Te Pou, Heather adapted Let’s get real: Disability for the disability sector, and has led the development and delivery of the Kia Noho Rangatira Ai Tātou education programme.

She is keen to ensure that tangata whenua human rights and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as intersectionality, are integral to human rights education. Heather is inspired by the enthusiasm of people who participate in the Kia Noho Rangatira Ai Tātou programme and their commitment to working with disabled people to ensure the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is realised.

Ezekiel Robson 

Ezekiel is an experienced leader and advocate in the disability community, based in Auckland.  He is currently engaged in governance and advisory roles, and community projects in the health and disability sector.  

Ezekiel has experience of vision impairment and an active interest in citizenship, civic participation, human rights and equity. He is dedicated to enhancing respect and inclusion in society for all disabled people.

Previously, Ezekiel has supported the DPA as a regional coordinator, raising awareness of the UNCRPD and strengthening the voices of all people with lived experience of disability to influence change.

Ezekiel has also been involved with People First – empowering people with learning disabilities to become confident self-advocates and leaders, especially around their employment rights.  

Ezekiel brings adult education and group facilitation skills to the Kia Noho Rangatira Ai Tātou team, plus his background in youth work, violence prevention, social change, leadership and community networking.  

Jak Wild

Jak has lived experience of psychosocial disability, including restrictive practice such as forced psychiatric treatment, solitary confinement and restraint.

Originally from the UK, through the late 80’s and early 90’s Jak worked in inner city London with people living on the extreme margins of society, such as travellers/gypsies, refugees and homeless families.

Moving to New Zealand in 1996, Jak re-trained as an Alcohol and Drug Practitioner. He has developed outreach services for street homeless at the Wellington Alcohol and Drug Service, worked with at-risk youth as a multi-systemic therapist, and as a tenant support coordinator with Wellington City Council.

More recently, he has been the national coordinator for the Convention Coalition, monitoring the implementation of the UNCRPD. He occasionally contracts to the Ombudsman Office, accompanying the Convention Against Torture Team on unannounced visits to places of detention.

Jak is a representative for Ngā Hau e Whā, the national organisation that champions the voice of persons with lived experience of psychosocial disability.