Wira Gardiner has tribal affiliations to Ngati Awa, Ngati Pikiao, Whakatohea and Te Whanau-a-Apanui. He is the author of two previous books, including a history of the Maori Battalion. He has had a number of high-profile roles in both governance and management, including National Director of Civil Defence, founding director of the Waitangi Tribunal, founding CEO of the Iwi Transition Agency and founding CEO of Te Puni Kokiri/Ministry of Maori Development. He has been Chair of Te Mangai Paho, and deputy chairman of Te Ohu Kaimoana, the trust responsible for advancing the interests of iwi in the development of fisheries. He is the fourth ministerial appointee to the Council of Te Wananga o Aotearoa, and is deputy chair of council at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi.