Michelle Hippolite from Waikato, Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki is the Deputy Director General, Te Papa Atawhai (Department of Conservation). Michelle was the first female Toihautū (Chief Executive) to lead Te Puni Kōkiri; a position she held from 2012 to 2019. During this time she has led a transformation of Te Puni Kōkiri so the organisation is focused on supporting the long-term aspirations and outcomes for whānau, hapū and Iwi Māori. With more than 20 years of experience in the Public Service and wider State sector, Michelle has held several senior roles. A personal career highlight was providing leadership in government for the establishment of the Māori Television Service that opened in 2004, and constructing strategies for Te Reo Māori. Michelle is currently the Chair of Te Kura Māori o Porirua and is a Public Sector Trustee on the Diversity Works NZ Trust.