Natasha Kuka

Director | Ringatohu
Wellington Office

Natasha is an astute and highly experienced leader and policy expert who combines her natural talent for building relationships with a deep understanding of government processes  

Natasha has more than 20 years’ experience in economic and social policy. She is a trusted adviser to ministers and other senior leaders, who value her ability to quickly grasp complex new issues and work with them to find solutions that work.  

Natasha is adept at helping client agencies find a way ahead when the range of stakeholders includes sharply competing policy views, reflecting varying perspectives from different cultures, communities, regions, or sectors.  

As well as her strong expertise in designing and implementing regulatory policy and funding policy, Natasha is skilled in advising on information and support policy, helping agencies to apply develop softer policy levers to influence and change behaviour.  

Natasha has supported a diverse range of agencies covering key areas of social and economic life in Aotearoa. This has included the Ministry of Education, Taumata Arowai, the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand, and Waka Kotahi | NZ Transport Agency.  

Natasha also has a strong background in establishing new public-sector organisations – for example, Te Mātāwai, the independent statutory entity established to revitalise te reo Māori on behalf of kāinga, hapori, and iwi. She has also reviewed policies, functions and programmes at Te Puni Kōkiri, Te Arawhiti, Creative New Zealand, and the Independent Police Conduct Authority. 

In both her professional and her personal life Natasha is driven by her passion for Māori success. Outside the office, she also loves netball and spending time with whānau and friends. 

Recent examples of Natasha’s work:

  • Natasha was Acting Head of Strategy and Insights at Taumata Arowai, New Zealand’s new water services regulator. This complex role covered communications, strategy and governance, and data and insights.  
  • She has been an Adviser for the establishing of the new National Māori Entity, under the Natural and Built Environments Bill still before Parliament. The new entity would be responsible for monitoring how well the reformed resource-management system participants gives effect to Tiriti rights and interests.  

  • Natasha led the establishing establishment of the early learning network management function at the Ministry of Education. This completely new regime requires new providers of early childhood education to first obtain approval from the Minister of Education 

  • Natasha was one of the reviewers of Regulatory Capability and Performance at Waka Kotahi after systemic regulatory failures at the agency. 

  • She was Advisor to the Board and Tumu Whakarae (Chief Executive) of Te Mātāwai, the new agency responsible for revitalising te reo Māori.

Natasha’s qualifications 

Natasha has a Bachelor of Laws and a BA in Psychology and Māori, both from the University of Canterbury.   

She has a Diploma in Te Aupikitanga ki te Reo Kairangi (Advanced Full Immersion, Level 6) and a Diploma in Te Pīnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi (Level 7) from Tte Wānanga o Aotearoa. 


Project Examples