Sam Te Maari
Sam joined the Deaf Aotearoa Executive Board in 2015 following a five-year term as one of the first Māori representatives for the Deaf Association, as it was then known, in the early 1990s. Sam’s focus at that time was Māori services, wānanga and advocating for Māori Deaf rights. Sam has also been involved in National Māori Deaf Hui since 1992, providing support for Māori sign development and Māori education for adults and youth.
In his current role on the Deaf Aotearoa Executive Board, Sam represents Deaf Aotearoa in the Oceania region of the World Federation of the Deaf. In this role he networks with other indigenous Deaf groups around the Oceania region, discussing Māori Deaf groups such as Ngāti Turi o Aotearoa and Te Whānau Turi o Aotearoa. Sam has worked as a welder for 40 years. Until recently, he was also a support worker at van Asch Deaf Education Centre, working with Deaf youth to support life skills learning and providing activities in NZSL.
His hobbies include the Australian Deaf Harley Davidson group, crafts, woodwork and gardening.
Eddie lives in Whangarei and was elected to the Deaf Aotearoa Executive Board in 2016. As an NZSL tutor, Eddie enjoys meeting Deaf and hearing people and his goal is to support the Māori Deaf and Deaf communities. Eddie’s focus includes the areas of Justice, Education and Interpreting – in particular supporting Māori Deaf youth, developing skills for trilingual interpreters and improving access for Māori Deaf to Māori language. As well as studying towards a degree in Applied Social Service, Eddie also has a Certificate in Deaf Studies and a Certificate in Mental Health and Addiction.
He is involved in two Deaf clubs as well as in Māori Deaf Hui and is a member of the Miyagi Kan Karate Club.