Kāi Tahu, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāi Tama
Dr Emma Wyeth belongs to the Parata, Ellison, and Taiaroa whānau. Emma grew up in Karitane where many generations of her whānau have lived, and still do. She is based in Dunedin, where she completed her studies in genetics, and has worked in the field of Māori public health in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine Te Tari Hauora Tūmatanui at the University of Otago for the last 10 years. Emma is the Director of the Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit (Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora Māori o Ngāi Tahu), and Co-Deputy Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga,
New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence. She is married to Dr Michael Stevens (nō Awarua) and they are the proud parents of three tamariki: Kura-mātakitaki (8 years), Te Haeatanui (5 years), and Tūhiku-a-Kiwa (3 years). All of this keeps her on her toes and makes her one busy lady!
What constitutes a good day?
We lead very busy lives so a good day is one where I have a little bit of downtime, am with whānau and friends, have had a good night’s sleep, and can enjoy good food.
One thing you could not live without?
Our whānau – despite having no immediate family close by, we rely on their encouragement and support a great deal.
Who or what inspires you and why?
My kids inspire me to be the best I can be and to give everything 100%, for them. I’m also inspired by the many people who dedicate their time, energy, and resources to enhance our Ngāi Tahu communities via a wide range of activities and commitments.
Highlight of your last year and why?
Spending time with four generations of my in-laws, all living under one roof, on the tītī island. We also made great progress on our crib at Ōmāui, being built by Mike and various whānau members.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Shoes and handbags I can always be tempted to add to my collection!
Favourite way to chill out? Favourite place?
We don’t get much downtime with three young children and demanding jobs, but my favourite place to relax and unwind is Karitane. Despite only living 30 minutes away we don’t make it out there as often as I’d like, but when I drive over the top of the hill I immediately feel at ease.
Dance or wallflower?
What food could you not live without?
Bluff oysters, crayfish, whitebait, and dark chocolate.
What meal do you cook the most?
Not much! I’m very fortunate that Mike does most of the cooking at home but I’ve just come off the tītī islands where I had the open fire and camp ovens down pat, cooking all sorts of kai for the whānau!
My kids. And, surviving many seasons muttonbirding with my in-laws living under one roof without many luxuries!
Do you have an aspiration for Ngāi Tahu to achieve by 2025?
By 2025, it’d be great to see Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu investing more actively and meaningfully within our regional communities. I believe it is also important that as an iwi we know our people, aspirations, and needs well so that Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu can intentionally, and in a more co-ordinated manner, work to address these and improve Ngāi Tahu social, cultural, and economic well-being.