Meet Our Team: Event Manager, Jess Hibbert

October 26, 2023
He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata he tangata.
What is the most important thing? It is people, it is people it is people.
We have an incredible team here at Whāriki, people who believe in the kaupapa and are determined to make a difference with their mahi. So, we thought it was important to introduce you to them! Meet our talented Event Manager Jess Hibbert (Ngāti Raukawa).

Kia ora Jess. Nau mai, haere mai. Ko wai koe nō hea koe? Can you tell us a little about who you are and where you’re from?

Ko Tainui te waka

Ko Maungatautari te māunga

Ko Ngāti Raukawa tōku iwi

No Tāmaki Makaurau ahau.

Ko Jessica Aroha Hibbert tōku ingoa.

I am a sunrise swimming, ice coffee loving, psalm writing wahine who is currently studying psychology, theology and Te Reo Māori outside of her mahi at Whāriki. I am a curious spirit (hence all the study) and get immense joy out of connecting with others and hearing their stories.

Can you give us a brief overview of your career prior to Whāriki?

I’ve been in the PR & events industry for over seven years, both in Aotearoa and overseas, working with global brands such as Jaguar Land Rover, Google and Unilever. I’ve had such a fun career doing events, from product launches to national tours, and am grateful for all the experience and networks this has brought me. I look forward to applying the things I’ve learned to our mahi here at Whāriki.

We're excited to have you! Tell us about your role at Whāriki and what it entails.

I am an Event Manager here at Whāriki and my role is to connect, empower and increase capabilities for our pakihi Māori by creating spaces for our members to learn and exchange knowledge and platforms that enable us to support and encourage each other.

What inspired you to join the organisation?

I believe in the kaupapa. I have seen in my own whānau the positive impact Māori-owned pakihi have on their own wellbeing, the wellbeing of their whānau and the wellbeing of their community, so being at Whāriki allows me to play a part in fostering the importance and growth of our pakihi Māori!

What exciting projects do you have in the pipeline and how will these benefit our pakihi Māori?

Our events calender for 2023 is looking GOOD! Whāriki Masterclasses are in full swing, with our first being on May 4th (more on that to come). We have networking events in the pipeline as well as national roadshows. We are also looking into already established, large-scale events and how we can get our pakihi front and centre in these spaces. Keep an eye out for more information!

What tips do you have for how our pakihi Māori can leverage and best utilise your team’s mahi at Whāriki?

Read your emails. Haha jokes. My advice would be to apply yourself as much as you can! Be in the room or online at our events, utilise the resources being sent out, engage with our updates on social media and email – they are all the final product of research and expert advice so there’s value in these resources.

We know it’s hard to pick just three, but which pakihi Māori are you most inspired by at the moment - and why?

Tuhi Stationery – I’ve always been inspired by Geneva and how she sources and creates such a large and wide range of high-quality products. Her business acumen and knowledge around e-commerce is very inspiring to me, to the point where I felt empowered to start my own line of journals, As I Am, which has been such a fun and creative process!

Ngaio & I, Maternity Photography – I'm slightly biased as she’s whānau but her mahi is such an amazing reflection of how creative, brave and unique Māori are.

Soil & Sand – I love how strong they are in their identity as a brand. They know who they are and unapologetically back their creations.

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