Alumni Profiles

Adele Whyte

Adele Whyte

Draw Aotearoa

Director

Adele was born in Hastings and grew up in Napier. After completing her schooling, Adele went to Victoria University of Wellington and completed a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Ecology, Biodiversity and Genetics.

In 2000, Adele was awarded the first of two prestigious scholarships to complete her Masters, and then her PhD research. Adele’s master’s research investigated the origins of Māori and Pacific peoples’ using DNA. For her PhD research she investigated the use of mussels as indicators of marine pollution. Adele is a long-term mentor for Te Rōpū Āwhina, whānau for Māori and Pacific students studying science at Victoria University.

After graduating in 2006, Adele was employed by Victoria University as a Lecturer and Researcher in the School of Biological Sciences, teaching courses in Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Marine Conservation. During this time she was also acting as a Technical Advisor to the Kahungunu Ki Uta, Kahungunu Ki Tai steering group. Adele is extremely pleased that she has been be able to utilise her qualifications to contribute to her iwi development, by working on this exciting and important kaupapa. As a result, Adele was instrumental in the establishment of the Fisheries & Environment Unit within Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated and led this mahi as the Director for the Unit from 2010. During 2013, Adele was appointed as the Interim Chief Executive of Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc, upon the departure of the previous Chief Executive, Ms Meka Whaitiri. Early 2014 Adele was officially appointed Chief Executive for Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated.