14 Jan Pania Newton
Pania Newton ( Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa, Waikato, Ngati Mahuta) holds a Conjoint Degree in Law and Health Sciences and is currently working towards completing her Bachelors Degree in Tikanga Maori and Social Sciences for Public Health. Pania also holds a number of qualifications from Te Awanuiarangi and Te Wananga o Aotearoa in the areas of Maori Food Sovereignty Practices and Performing Arts.
After graduating University Pania and her cousins established the Save Our Unique Landscape Campaign. This saw Pania leaving behind her career in law to dedicate her life to the preservation of Ihumaatao – a rare cultural, historical, and ancestral landscape on the shores of the Manukau Harbour – and has taken the cause to the United Nations three times.
Other work Pania is involved with includes being part of Matike Mai Aotearoa Rangatahi which is the youth arm working towards Constitutional Transformation. Pania is also a board member and trustee on several trusts that seek to empower communities to lead healthy lifestyles that enable their well-being, these include Toi Tangata, Ki o Rahi ki Tamaki Makaurau, Nga Kaitiaki o Ihumatao, and Puketapapa Ascendants.
Pania has sacrificed a lot to lead the social and environmental justice campaign at Ihumaatao, and has been challenged many times. Despite these Pania has always been committed to the work she is involved with and her role as kaitaiki, for the adversities faced and the sacrifices made to pursue justice for the land, the environment, and future generations will contribute to a better Aotearoa.