He Tangata
Trevor McGlinchey

Ngāi Tahu – Moeraki


Trevor McGlinchey began his career as a freezing worker and worked in a number of seasonal and other short-term industries until 1986, when he founded Te Mahi o Waitaki Trust in Ōamaru. This was a kaupapa Māori trust that developed and operated social enterprises and community initiatives. Trevor was involved with the Ōamaru Māori community, chairing both the Ōamaru Māori Komiti and Waitaki Te Kōhanga Reo. He went on to become a long-serving Chair of Te Rūnanga o Moeraki during both pre-settlement and post-settlement times.

Trevor’s passion for social justice and equity has led him to his current role as Executive Officer for the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, and his appointment to the Welfare Expert Advisory Group Kia Piki Ake. Trevor is also the chair of Moeraki Ltd. He spends his time between Wellington, Christchurch, and Moeraki.


What constitutes a good day?
The best days are when the whole whānau are together and we are sharing kai, kōrero, and katakata.

One thing you could not live without?
Hugs from my three mokopuna.

Who or what inspires you and why?
Matiaha Tiramōrehu for his fortitude and commitment, even in the face of personal tragedy, to achieve the best for his iwi.

Highlight in the last year and why?
Being appointed to the Welfare Expert Advisory Group to participate in the overhaul of the New Zealand benefit system so that it ensures that people have an adequate income and standard of living, are treated with and can live in dignity, and are able to participate meaningfully in their communities.
It was an honour and a privilege to visit many communities and hear from New Zealanders about their experiences with the welfare system, and their aspirations for a new and empowering social security system for the future.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I recently purchased a 1976 Morris house bus which has allowed us (mokopuna included) to travel and reconnect with many parts of our wider whānau whakapapa. It also is a quirky and unusual vehicle that requires regular maintenance to ensure its reliability, making it an ongoing extravagance.

Favourite way to chill out? Favourite place?
Anywhere with a good book. I also really like it when the day ends with me reading to the moko as they lay in bed.

Dance or wallflower?
While I’ve never been hit with the rhythm stick and can’t actually dance, I have been known to take over a few dance floors.

What food could you not live without?
Fresh blue cod.

What meal do you cook the most?
Roast lamb and veggies.

Greatest achievement?
Marrying Rangi McGlinchey.

Do you have an aspiration for Ngāi Tahu to achieve by 2025?
I want to see our marae as thriving centres of culture, whānau, and oranga. That our people are connected with their ūkaipō, and the ahikā are numerous and strong.