Parekawhia was appointed the CEO of Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Inc in December 2010. She oversees the Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust and the Waikato Raupatu River Trust and works closely with Tainui Group Holdings Ltd and the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development.
A mother of two daughters and grandmother, Parekawhia was raised in Whatawhata before leaving the Waikato in the late 1980s to live in Wellington. She has over 20 years of public policy and public sector management experience including almost seven years as a Director and Consultant of her own company Mauriora-ki-te-Ao/Living Universe Ltd (MKTA) - a company dedicated to advancing the creative potential of Maaori knowledge, people and resources.
One of her major achievements as a government official was the establishment of the Maaori Television Service – where she was the lead Crown advisor. Parekawhia spent 5 and ½ years as a strategic advisor to three Prime Ministers – Bolger, Shipley and Clark.