Bronwyn Ruth Naumai Yates

Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga a Māhaki

Bronwyn Yates was born in Rotorua and educated at Rotorua Primary School, Rotorua Intermediate School and Rotorua Girls’ High School. She continued her studies at Auckland University where she graduated with a B.A. in Political Studies and Māori Studies. She has partially completely a Masters in Education.

Bronwyn has worked in the community education and voluntary sector, primarily in the area of adult literacy, for the past 19 years as a tutor, literacy coordinator and national trainer and manager.

In 1991 Bronwyn was appointed Te Apiha Kaiwhakahaere o Te Motu of Te Whiri Kaupapa Ako (Māori development arm of the Adult Reading and Learning Assistance Federation – ARLA - [now Literacy Aotearoa Inc] in a joint CEO position). Currently she is Te Tumuaki (Chief Executive Officer) of Literacy Aotearoa Inc., an organization, which provides support to 50 literacy providers throughout New Zealand.

Bronwyn was a key driver in the restructuring process from ARLA Federation to Literacy Aotearoa inc. The model is based on tino rangātiratanga and is guided by the principles of manaaki tangata which are the foundation when dealing with issues of Māori/Tauiwi relationships and the differing frameworks within the literacy field.

Her passion for literacy is aligned with her passion to restore well being on a range of levels. She views literacy within the context of accessing and utilising information and knowledge to create change and restore social justice. In September 2004, Bronwyn was invited by TEC (Tertiary Education Commission) to be a speaker at the International Adult Learners’ Week Conference in Cape Town. Bronwyn has current memberships on New Zealand Qualifications Authority advisory groups, and the National Working Group on Foundation Learning. She is a National Trustee of Māori Education Trust, was past Chairperson of the ARLA Federation, a Foundation Trustee of the Workbase Education Trust, and a past Chairperson of the Access Literacy Trust. Bronwyn has been a member of many other Government Reference Groups concerning Tertiary Education, Māori Education, Adult and Community Education and Adult Literacy.

In 2002, Bronwyn was recognised in the New Year’s Honours and awarded a QSM for services to literacy and the community.

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence from Bronwyn Yates on 30 Nov. 2004.
  • Email correspondence from Ngaire Hartnett on 4 and 29 Mar. 2005.
  • The Fourth Sector: Adult and Community Education in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Ed. John Benseman, Brian Findsen, and Miriama Scott. Palmerston North, N.Z.: Dunmore, 1996. 395.


  • "Striving for Tino Rangātiratanga." The Fourth Sector: Adult and Community Education in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Ed. John Benseman, Brian Findsen, Miriama Scott. Palmerston North, N.Z.: Dunmore, 1996. 95-111.