Margaret Kawharu of Ngati Whatua/Mahurehure has worked extensively on the research, negotiation and settlement phases of Treaty of Waitangi claims for the past twenty years. She served on the Ngati Whatua Ōrakei Trust board for nine years, and for four years on the Ngati Whatua o Ōrakei Reserves board, a co-governance entity over what was formerly known as Bastion Point. She currently chairs Te Poari o Kaipatiki ki Kaipara, another co-governance board over the Parakai Recreation Reserve, is Deputy Chair of Nga Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara Development Trust and an inaugural member of Kaipara Commercial Development Ltd - all post settlement entities for Ngati Whatua o Kaipara since 2013.
Margaret was the Senior Māori Advisor at Massey University Auckland from 2014-18, and co-edited ‘The Treaty on the Ground: Where we are headed and why it matters’ published by Massey University Press in 2017. She is now a Ph.D candidate at the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies at Victoria University Wellington. Margaret was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2012 for services to Māori.