Aotea te waka. Taranaki te maunga. Ko Maniapoto, Ngati Ruanui, Te Atiawa oku iwi.
Aroha Lowe is a fluent speaker of Te Reo Māori and a social justice activist, community worker, educator and advocate. She was appointed to the board of Be. Institute in June 2020, and has served on the board of Te Awa Magazine since 2019.
Aroha co-founded NOA Open Art Studio at Te Manawa Museum and Art Gallery in Palmerston North, a participant-led pop-upart group that welcomes visitors to make art, inhabit and co-author public spaces. She has also worked as a librarian, at Wildbase Recovery, FilmArchives, Women’s Refuge and in other community spaces.
Ms Lowe has extensive experience in the disability/access sectors within IHC/Idea Services, and has a particular interest in working with and advocating for the interests of rangatahi/tamariki/mokopuna, indigenous and Māori activists, rainbow/LGBTQI+youth, environmentalists, new migrants and those living in poverty.
She currently works as an art facilitator with artists who live with autism spectrum, Down Syndrome, intellectual disability and learning disabilities.
As a graduate of the 2017 Be. Leadership programme, Ms Lowe brings her expertise in creating inclusive spaces for all to the Be. Institute board. Her belief that public spaces are best when co-authored by, and filled with, diverse groups of people, is what drives her to transform Aotearoa to become a more welcoming place for all. Part of her intent with Be. Institute is to explore the potential for Te Ao Māori to inform innovation and governance into the future.
Ms Lowe is a Co-convenor of the PalmerstonNorth - Rangitīkei branch of the Green Party, and leads the branch Women’sCaucus. She is a volunteer with Red Cross, helping new migrants to settle inAotearoa New Zealand. She has participated in climate strike and Black Lives Matter protests.
Hailing from Taranaki, Māori, Irish, English and Scots whanau, Ms Lowe is committed to social justice and to amplifying the voices of the vulnerable and marginalised. As someone with personal experience with anxiety and depression Ms Lowe has a deep appreciation of how difficult it can be to stay well, and to navigate the tricky paths in life. She believes we have enough resources for everyone to live with dignity, that some of those least likely to find a seat at governance tables are those who live in poverty, and without their input we are all impoverished. We all have value.