Our People

Thriving Otara chose to be an incorporated society because we want to be a membership organisation, which means that the main decisions are made by the (residential) members at the AGMs. A Committee is then responsible for implementing those decisions during the year.

Information about becoming a member is in the next section, followed by information about the current members of the Committee.

Thriving Otara Our People Intro


The TOI constitution makes a distinction between persons who live in the area and others:

  • anyone over the age of 16 who lives in Otara is eligible to become a Residential Member.
  • Supporting Members are organisations or individuals who work in the Ōtara community and support the kaupapa of Thriving Ōtara. The ways they provide assistance range from sharing expertise/information/resources to including the views of Otara residents in decision-making that directly affects Otara.

Only the Residential Members may vote at the AGMs or be elected to the Committee; the Supporting Members may attend the AGM and speak but not vote and not be elected to the Committee.

If you’re interested in becoming a Residential or Supporting Member, please read the Kawenata and then complete the application form. Please note that being on our mailing list does not necessarily mean that you are a member. You must have completed an application form and be notified that it was accepted in order to have the rights of being a member.

Our Committee

Seven people are on the TOI Committee, with officers including a chairperson and deputy chair. They are elected by the residential members at an AGM, but the Committee may appoint people to fill vacancies that occur between AGMs. The Committee may also co-opt people with specific knowledge that would assist their mahi. The people currently on the Committee are:

Lucky Faaitiiti

Lucky Fa’ai’ti’iti is a New Zealand born Samoan, raised in Otara who continues to serve his community with passion through grassroots sports and representative levels of coaching/managing sports in schools, clubs, community spaces and places. Lucky understands the challenges faced within Otara and Southside communities that often limits one’s opportunity to participate, develop and gain meaningful experience through all sectors such as sport, education, health and wellbeing. Lucky is determined, committed, coachable and passionate to be your local, current resident who will champion your voice into action and represent you and your families to ensure Otara is Thriving in all areas.

Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown is a full-time solo dad to two young boys. He currently resides in Otara and is studying Machining and engineering at MIT Otara. In his spare time he coach U10’S Tornado Stingers for the Otara Scorpion’s rugby league club, softball for Otahuhu Softball club and also volunteers at our local soup kitchen. He also holds a Kid’s fit session at our local community Otara Fit Stop Hub. Daniel feels he would be of benefit being on the Thriving Otara Governing body because he has a chance to learn and serve the Otara community through this kaupapa. Daniel is keen to work hard and support this as part of the governing body going forward. He love’s this community as we have a lot to offer.

Darius Mamea

Darius Mamea is of Samoan descent, grew up in Mangere and moved to Otara in 2019. He works as a youth facilitator for Otara Health’s Youth Service. His role is to engage with the rangatahi and support them in bringing their ideas to life.

Being only 25 and involved in youth networks, he brings a younger perspective to the conversations. He has a can-do attitude, is willing to learn and will give everything a go. He joined Thriving Otara because it provides an opportunity to serve his community and his people in leading by example to make positive change in the community.

David Saotupe

David Saotupe is a Kiwi-born Samoan who is passionate about the community where he grew up and currently lives in Otara. He also works here, running a weekly ‘Tha Movement Music Academy’, based out of the Otara Youth Hub and assisting with creating Otara’s first club basketball team for our youth, called ‘TC Thunder’.

He has a genuine passion to make real life differences for our young people, with the intent of helping them develop self-confidence and an alternative awareness to life. He can relate firsthand to the challenges our people face on a daily basis, based on his own lived experiences. He has dedicated his career to helping families like his own and the people who continue to experience inter-generational hardships live in his neighborhood.

Ngarimu Waru

Ngarimu’s whanau has been in Ōtara since 1968 having moved from Muriwhenua to Ōtara. She has a background in Social Services and currently works for Te Tai Awa o Te Ora as a Social Worker. She is committed to Ōtara, the community that raised her and sought membership to Thriving Ōtara to progress her aspirations for the well-being and celebration of her community.

Puti Taufa

Puti Taufa is a strong Māori woman and is currently a Māori Warden in Otara. She has worked with many organisations in a voluntary position because she cares about Otara. She is passionate about Otara and its people and wants to see them thrive because she understands that we all have a part to play because it’s Our community and Our responsibility.

Tiere Riki

Tiere Riki is a current resident for over 25 years. Tiere a Wahine Māori who is passionate about her Whanau and the community. She loves to support all Kaupapa where Ōtara is at the forefront. She is new to the TOI Whanau and is looking forward to the positive things that can be done for Ōtara to change the narrative.