Ngāti Raukawa ki te tonga, Ngāti Hauiti ki Rata, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Te Whanau ā Apanui, Ngāti Porou me Ngāti Whanaunga ki Hauraki.
Fortunate and grateful to have been brought up on our whenua as ahi kaa and taught by my mātua and mātua tupuna Te Kawa o Rongoā from when I was little especially connecting and communing with my friends who live in the trees and the grasses. I wasn’t the only one in my whānau however I have since gone on to learn and know more to capacity build my whānau to embrace this taonga tuku iho.
One of my key aspirations is to undertake purposeful research that is first and foremost useful and of value to our whānau, hapū and Iwi who will benefit from having access to ways to bring about ease, peace and calm through Te Kawa o Rongoā. The second is to provide facilitated training for whānau to know that they know and to never doubt what they receive. Easier said than done however with guidance the road can be easier.
The training I provide and also the research I am undertaking aims to normalise our matauranga māori within a nurturing space of our papakainga setting expressing Rongoā as a model of health and wellbeing through the richness of intergenerational transmission of matauranga.
I am a Programme Co-ordination Manager for Te Rau Puawai Maori Mental Health Workforce Development within the College of Health, Massey University since 2010. This very successful programme was developed by Emeritus Professor Sir Mason Durie in 1999 between Health Workforce New Zealand (formerly Ministry of Health) and Massey University. Acknowledgement must be given previous Coordinators and staff guiding the way.
I entered the health sector in 1996 working at Enable New Zealand, then our Iwi Health Provider Te Runanga o Raukawa Incorporated as a Mental Health Support Worker. I then worked within the New Zealand Prison Service in education and then moved on to Mid Central District Health Board, Public Health Unit working in the portfolios of Mental Health , Nutrition & Physical Activity, Injury Prevention, and Māori Health and Central Primary Health Organisation as Population Health Team Leader managing Dietitians, Health Promotion, Auahi Kore Smokefree and Physical Activity Educators.
I am honoured and humbled to represent our hapū Ngāti Parewahawaha as their delegate on Rūnanga Whaiti, the Governance Board to Ngāti Raukawa ki te tonga Iwi Authority, Te Runanga o Raukawa Incorporated. In addition to that I am also our Iwi Representative for Manawhenua Hauora, The Iwi Relationship Board to the Board of Mid Central District Health and then to that the Iwi Representative and and Trustee on the Think Hauora Board – a Primary Health Organisation.