Damiane Desiree Kahuwairoa Rikihana

Te Arawa

1963 -

Damiane Rikihana was born in Rotorua and was educated at St Patrick’s Cathedral School, Auckland, and St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College, Napier. During 1980-81 she was a Rotary International Scholar in Canada and the USA. On returning to New Zealand, she attended Auckland University from 1981-83 and graduated with Bachelor of Arts majoring in English. In 1984 she went to Waiariki Community College in Rotorua and graduated with a Diploma in Journalism. From 1991-2 she did a two year post-graduate Diploma in Communications at Victoria University, Wellington, and at Avalon Studios. She then worked on a M.A. in Communications. From 1981-82 she was an autocue operator for TVNZ in Auckland. In 1983 she was an Office Clerk for the Waiatarau Arts Scheme in Auckland. From 1983-84 she was a trainee journalist with the NZ Herald in Auckland, and 1984-86 was a journalist with the Broadcasting Corporation Radio New Zealand in Hamilton and Tauranga. In 1986-88 she was public relations officer for the ACT Health Authority in Canberra, Australia. Damiane was Executive Assistant Media (Press Secretary) for the Labour Government at Parliament Buildings from 1988-90 and was responsible directly to the Minister of Māori Affairs. In 1990 she was Manager of Communications for Manatu Māori in Wellington, and in 1992 was NZEI (New Zealand Educational Institute) Senior Officer in Communications and Information. By 2004 she was working as a PHA Maori Media Adviser. She writes non-fiction articles and has been the Editor of NZEI’s magazine Rourou.

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence with Damiane Rikihana, 9 Feb. 1993.


  • "Thames Wananga Strengthens Women." Tu Tangata 20 (Oct./Nov. 1984): 24.
  • A report of a three day wananga, ‘Te Ao Hurihuri’, which was held for Ngāti Maru women in Thames in 1984.
  • "Annette Sykes." Tu Tangata 22 (Feb./Mar. 1985): 18.
  • In this article Māori lawyer, Annette Sykes speaks of the issues that concern her: the brain drain from rural areas, the scarcity of Māori women in ‘key positions of responsibility’, the negative stereotypes of Māoridom perpetuated in universities, the need to promote the positive side of Māori achievements over the negative aspects, and the importance of using te reo Māori in her work.
  • "Māori Represents Australia In Rugby." Tu Tangata 34 (Feb./Mar. 1987): 36.
  • A profile on Clint Chadwick from Ngāti Kahungunu and Te Atiawa, on his selection for the Australian Under 21 rugby union team in 1986.
  • "Success for Māori Language Celebrations." Te Māori News 4 (Dec. 1995): 7.
  • Fogarty, Chris. "Rikihana Minds Her Language." Sunday Star Times 3 Sept. 1995: C3.
  • "Reclaiming Breastfeeding – E Hoki Ki Te Ukaipo." PHA News 7.1 (Feb. 2004): 5-6.