Te Arawa elder and education expert Toby Curtis has been appointed as the interim chairperson of the cultural arm of New Zealand's first iwi operated educational body.
The Iwi Education Authority, which has support from 23 kura in the North Island, plans to lobby to improve Maori education through discussions with professional teacher organisations and unions.
The authority was launched last month and iwi representatives appointed Mr Curtis at their first meeting on Thursday.
He will be the interim head of Te Kahui Reo Taketake, which will help ensure iwi interest in the Authority.
Mr Curtis has held multiple educational roles from school principal, to senior tertiary academic.
The chairperson of the authority's arm, which represents education professionals including principals, hopes Mr Curtis will be appointed permanently at the annual meeting in November.
Pem Bird says over the next four months the authority has the chance to consult iwi about the interim appointment and for iwi to monitor performance, while at the same time allowing the authority to get on and do the work.