Newly Appointed CEO

  • 7 February 2013

Sister Michele Hippolite -right- with her family


Sister Michele Hippolite is the newly appointed CEO of Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry of Maori Development).  Her role involves working with the Minister of Maori Affairs, to help improve the lives of Maori people.  Her strength lies in leadership and developing Policy.  She has advised the New Zealand Government on a range of issues afffecting Maori, such as Maori economic development, Treaty of Waitangi settlements, the Seabed and Foreshore, Social Policy, Te Reo Maori, Fisheries and Maori broadcasting.

Sister Hippolite was educated at an Anglican Girls Boarding school, Queen Victoria College, and from there went straight to BYU-Hawaii where she completed a Bachelor of Social Work.  She practiced this line of work for a short time then moved on to Policy. 

Sister Hippolite is the wife of President Evan Hippolite, First Councillor in the Porirua NZ Stake Presidency.  They have two children.

Sister Hippolite explains that the gospel is an influence in the position she holds because it reminds her of the values she holds dear to her and her family, and the scriptures help her to find answers to things she does in her work life.  Being married in the temple reminds her that everything she does in mortality is for Eternity.  The Gospel teaches her to be kind to people and reminds her of the value of family.

Sister Hippolite prioritises Mondays as a day when nothing is scheduled for work in the evenings.  Weekends are for family.  Whenever possible, she will always have her husband beside her when she carries out her work responsibilities.  She is adamant that she could not do this work without him.  She will include her whole family when she is able to. 

Sister Hippolite  aspired to this type of role.  She wanted to work towards Leadership and she believes that it is important to have righteous leaders.  She gradually built up her confidence to be able to put her name in the hat, should the opportunity arise.  She is very much aware that she is in a very Senior Public Servant role and in a very male dominated domain.  She is described as a “strong and effective leader, who can drive organisational change to deliver real results.

Sister Hippolite’s testimony is simply, that Jesus Christ does live and helps her every day.  He knows who we are.  We should remember that he has so much for us.  In the face of adversity, still go to church, especially Sacrament Meeting, because the spirit can touch you when you listen intently.