Anne Waapu is a descendant of Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Hinemanu, Ngāti Kahungunu and Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi. A kaupapa Māori researcher and activist, Anne is focused on the transformation of New Zealand’s colonial justice system and so is interested in constitutional transformation, prison abolition and healing historical and intergenerational trauma. A kaitautoko of related kaupapa, Anne is also a tauira of Ahunga Tikanga at Te Wānanga o Raukawa and PhD candidate.
In 2018, Anne embarked on what has become a transformative journey in and of itself when Dr Moana Jackson invited her and fellow researcher Ngawai Mcgregor to help him “update” his 1988 report He Whaipaanga Hou. Together, they travelled New Zealand talking with Māori people to share and hear about the breadth of Māori experiences of the New Zealand justice system. The learnings are currently being compiled into the upcoming report He Tūkino Mutunga Kore: An Ongoing Injustice.
In 2019, Anne was a part of Te Ohu Whakatika the group that designed and hosted the National Hui Māori for Justice System Transformation themed Ināia Tonu Nei: now is the time – we lead, you follow. That hui called for a mana ōrite relationship with the Crown in order to advance the many recommendations captured in the Hui Māori report of the same name, Ināia Tonu Nei. Anne is now a part of the entity of the same name, Ināia Tonu Nei, working to progress those recommendations.
Anne is also a board member of JustSpeak – a youth-powered movement for transformational change of New Zealand’s criminal justice system, a member of the Independent Panel of the Understanding Policing Delivery programme, and a member of the working group for Wayfinding for Civil Justice.