Tess hails from New Zealand’s North Island tribes, Ngāi Tai (ki Tāmaki Makaurau) and Ngāti Porou. She is a Research Fellow and founding member of the Te Ārai Palliative Care and End of Life Research Group at the University of Auckland. The Te Ārai research group focuses on older peoples’ needs at end-of-life. Tess is also a member of the Māori Advance Care Planning Steering Group. She has also contributed to Hospice New Zealand’s Foundations of Spiritual Care Training Program’s Governance Board. She was selected as one of New Zealand’s 100 Māori Health Leaders acknowledging her end-of-life research activities with, and for, indigenous New Zealanders in 2017. The Te Ārai Kaumātua Rōpū (elder’s advisory group) asked Tess to lead the Pae Herenga study (traditional end-of-life care customs) as they were concerned that many indigenous families’ have been unable to retain their care customs due to the forces of colonialism. They were also concerned that the anticipated 48 per cent increase in older Māori deaths over the next 30 years will require whānau to provide end-of-life care more frequently however, they believe that many families lack the cultural capacity and resources to do so.