Penetaui is of proud Croatian and Māori heritage. He has a practical application of tikanga Māori and is a highly proficient speaker of te reo Māori. His background includes years abroad with rugby league, learning about corporate finance from Peter Kraus of Aperture Investors.
Penetaui is Councillor of Ngā Tai o Tokerau Māori Ward for the Far North District Council where he has a portfolio of waters and a commitment to contributing to the community.
As General Manager of Te Aupouri, Penetaui brings his knowledge of the land of the iwi. Their primary turangawaewae is at Te Kao at the southern end of the Pārengarenga Harbour, with Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē (Ninety Mile Beach) to the west and Tokerau (Great Exhibition Bay) to the east.