Our Story

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata. He tāngata. He tāngata

What is the most important thing in the world? It is people. It is people. It is people

Founded by Sarah L. Smith

Sarah has produced events and managed programs with internationally recognized entities such as the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the New Zealand Olympic Committee, AUT University and the United Nations. Through years of building professional networks in the U.S, she continues to broker opportunities with the likes of the Smithsonian Institution, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The American Museum of Natural History and the Sundance Institute.

Sarah is of Māori heritage with ancestry to Ngāti Kuri, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Rehia, Ngā Puhi and Te Aupōuri. The youngest of four children raised in South Auckland she was the first in her family and iwi (tribe) to obtain a Political Science and Women’s Studies degree, with honors, from CUNY’s Hunter CollegeSarah represented New Zealand’s national karate team competing at the Women’s World Cup in Fukuoka and medalling at the Oceania Championships in 1993 & 1994. She currently splits her time between New York City and New Zealand while raising three children with her husband.


MokoISM emerged out of a desire to achieve tino rangatiratanga, self determination, and to collaborate where there is good will to build partnerships and bridges for future generations.

Prior to MokoISM Sarah spent 10 years in New York’s multilateral and bilateral government arena where she developed a robust understanding of managing Ministerial visits and project-management of national and global brands including the 2011 Rugby World Cup alongside the New Zealand Embassy, Saatchi & Saatchi, AUT University, Play Rugby USA and USA Rugby.

Sarah is one of the original volunteer organizers for the Matariki Festival NY facilitating annual programming since 2008.