Tāwhiao McMaster is a man who wears many hats, and the latest is as a newly-elected trustee on the Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Trust.
The trust is the post-settlement governance entity of Whanganui iwi for the purposes of the Whanganui River settlement and, at 25, McMaster is the youngest member at the table.
McMaster said his election, along with that of fellow trustees Elijah Pue and Tamahaia Skinner, was the biggest push his people had made towards iwi governance "for the next generation".
Unlike other iwi, Ngā Tāngata Tiaki hadn't taken a "drip by drip" approach with new people coming through, McMaster said.
"Early last year we had He Waka Pakoko, which was a 25-year planning wananga of where we wanted to be as a people.
"One of the most consistent things said during that time at Pūtiki was our next generation needed to start being endorsed and start having the mantle to lead.
"Our people have had their individual say, and they've collectively endorsed these young guns."
A strategic approach was needed when starting the new role, McMaster said.
"We are a people of flow, and we always go along with the flow, but we need to figure out what our flow is properly for us to make some of the changes that we need.
"One of the things we can always improve on is our relationships with other iwi entities, as well as government entities.
"You have to take that humble approach. Yes, you've been voted in now, but you don't want to start making rapid change."
McMaster, who is also deputy chairman of the Ngaporo Waimarino Forest Trust, said one of the things that was working well currently was the ability for the iwi to communicate with one another.
"There's a realness there, we are honest and straight up.
"When there are issues we do have our hui and we allow a platform for our people to have a say.
"We've still got an old system of hapū, who hold the mana of the iwi, who are able to partake in what's actually happening. It's not being left to an introduced system of democracy to us as Māori people.
"We still have both worlds."
It was now his responsibility to prove the iwi right in choosing him, McMaster said.
"The main thing is we [McMaster, Pue and Skinner] are not going to let anyone down.
"We want to make sure what our kaumātua have experienced is integrated into our decisions, so we aren't repeating mistakes and we're showing that lessons have been learned."
McMaster currently works at the Ministry for the Environment, leading Te Ao Māori attributes in its law reform and legal amendments.
He was first person in New Zealand to be admitted to the Bar in a fully te reo Māori ceremony, and recently founded consulting firm Te Whakatupuranga o Te Tika.
"As Māori, we have a lot of issues with the legal system, in fact we have the worst," McMaster said.
"Having these qualifications helps heaps, especially when you're talking at a table and there's a legal language and a financial language.
"Understanding these different types of engagements is important, and it takes hard work.
"It's an intergenerational commitment. You're dedicating yourself to it, and you've accepted that your whole life isn't about yourself, it's about making sure that future generations have a good means of support.
"That's pretty cool, aye?"
As for any criticism he might receive as a new trustee, McMaster said growing up "speaking on the paepae" had prepared him for it.
"I've had a lot of humbling experiences, that's for sure.
"One of the things you've got to keep in mind is that we're all whānau.
"At the end of the day, what you say at the board table might be something that's raised at the dinner table.
"You've got to be able to mix well and engage well with you people, otherwise you're shutting yourself out and you're shutting them out from what might be helpful."