Meet The Team


Julie is the founder, owner, operator of Waka Whenua Ltd and is a co-director with her sister Tracey.

After many years of working with whānau and young people in crisis, Julie recognised that most often when life is really tough a strong sense of self, identity, belonging and knowing that we are loved can make a crucial positive difference.

Contact her here :

Phone: 03 528 6817

Mobile: 021 177 8842

Tracey is co-director of Waka Whenua Ltd. Tracey brings with her the skills gained after 20 years working front line for the Ministry of Social Development.

Tracey is excited that she and her sisters are part of an awesome whānau team creating beautiful products to enhance connection and belonging for all people. She knows that the time is right globally for a consciousness shift from viewing the placenta as medical waste to recognising its life giving and life anchoring role in our lives. This ushers in a whole new way of celebrating the conception, birth and life of our children.

Contact her here :

Phone: 03 528 6817

Mobile: 027 554 4858


Mangisi has had an important role in the founding and development of Waka Whenua Ltd.

When Julie and Mangisi's son Paihia was born in 2008, they began dreaming of a better solution than an ice cream container for his placenta (whenua). Mangisi continues to lend his ideas, skills and practical support to Waka Whenua

Isaac is a talented emerging artist producing beautiful works using techniques that he has adapted and developed himself.

He has been a successful sole trader in the construction industry. He brings a young, male energy and perspective to Waka Whenua Ltd., along with an organic understanding of form and function in design, and an exceptional eye for detail.


Donna has been part of the Waka Whenua whanau since day one and brings an awesome array of skills, knowledge and experience to the team.

Donna is an artist, performer and writer. She is a community champion in every sense. Her tireless work within community and iwi within Te Tau Ihu has produced amazing results. She is a networking extraordinaire.


She believes that children are our greatest treasure and that we share a collective responsibility to love and support all children to have a solid sense of identity from birth, one that empowers them to become capable and compassionate leaders for the future. Her passion and life mission is centered on bringing the rights of children to have a safe and happy life to the forefront of our lives and decision making. She brings true heart, creativity and diverse life experience to Waka Whenua.


Kathleen is Julie and Tracey’s sister, Mangisi’s sister in law and Isaac’s aunty. 

Kathy is based in Auckland where she has worked for almost twenty years as a graphic artist, currently employed at Yellow. Kathy lends her technical design skill to Waka Whenua and is keen to return to Motueka to be part of a true Whanau enterprise. Motueka will always be home.