Tēna kōutou kātoa,
Ko Whakaari Te Puia,
Ko Whakatere rāua ko Tawhitinui ngā maunga,
Ko Waima rāua ko Tauranga ngā awa,
Ko Kotahitanga rāua ko Maru-o-Hinemākaho ngā marae,
Ko Ngātokimatawhaorua rāua Ko Mataatua ngā waka,
Ko Ngāpuhi rāua ko Te Whanau-A-Apanui ngā iwi,
Ko Ngāti whakaeke rāua Ko Whanau-A-Pararaki ngā hapu,
Ko Francis (Frank) Leng tōku koroua, Ko Arihia Hohepa tōku kuia,
Ko Kenneth Butler tōku koroua, Ko Hiria Waititi tōku kuia,
Ko William (Billy) Leng tōku pāpā, Ko Matuku (Sue aka ‘Girl’) Butler tōku māmā,
Ko Gage me Shine ōku tamariki,
Ko Carol Manukau ahau
Born and raised in Hamilton, I moved to Northland about 30 years ago, continuing my insurance brokerage sales job in the North, until we relocated to Whangarei, and I took a role with ‘Men’s Action Network’, supporting men’s education programs to become non-violent, and later women’s. I grew in my role and became a board member. My work developed into a group co-facilitator role. We worked very closely with the organisation ‘Prisoner Aid’, founded by Lil’ Britton, who was an inspirational mentor to many, including myself. My exposure to the world of prisoners (inside and outside), men and women striving (and not) to change and improve their lives, Clinical Psychologists, A & D counsellor’s and more, ignited fires and informed many things for me over my lifetime. And since, amongst other things, I’ve been a Probation Officer, Practice Manager - Specialist Medical & Surgical Practice for 17 years, Coordinator - Children’s Action Plan (Vulnerable Children’s Team) and Restorative Justice Facilitator.
Supporting iwi o Te Taitokerau with Te Kahu o Taonui for three years and counting, from COVID lockdown 1 with motorhomes housing whānau through iwi runanga/agencies and supporting their progress. Alongside my colleague Tania Siteine, the motel accommodation and motorhomes mahi achieved great outcomes for our whanau and communities, plus we learnt loads! Which lead me onto my role now. Although my role has shifted about, as the need has arisen (thank you COVID), I am currently Kaiwhakahaere Pou Whai Kainga – Housing Lead.
In my opinion, for Māori to do well, there is an eco-system creation required, resources needed and barriers to remove. It’s never just about housing… housing is an extremely important piece and an important asset base opportunity in the scheme of things. The eco-system needs to be unapologetically Māori in it’s approach and outcomes. It needs to encompass everything ailing us and everything to aid us to heal and put things to right. I’m interested in all of this happening and to feeling and seeing the obvious effects on the ground. This is our step towards independence, rather than the cap in hand funding system currently in place.
I’m also passionate about improving the mindset and financial capability of us all to ensure when, or as we have received the knowledge and the benefits from it, we all have the skills to retain and build upon it, ensuring this improves the lay of the land and the lives of ours who follow in our footsteps.
Key Partners: TPK, North Build, Northtec, HouseMe, Timber Construction Solutions (TCS Pukekohe), Units2GO, Podlife.
This is a kaupapa involving all 12 TKoT iwi to test prototype cabins as potential pandemic isolation options and to create, grow and retain additional accommodation options throughout the North. We are currently seeking extension of this kaupapa to December with the idea of ongoing cabin availability to have been created with sustainability.
The proposed impact of this is to have:
- Additional accommodation options throughout Taitokerau for pandemic isolation and for pre-existing accommodation issues.
- The support and strengthening of Māori owned businesses, where possible, in the cabin build area.
- Opportunities to encourage the creation of additional Māori owned businesses working in the area of quality cabin builds.
- Rangatahi training and employment via Northtec and Māori owned businesses.
- Identify supply, pricing, infrastructure and other issues related to this area and look at options to problem solve where possible now and for future.
There are a few challenges that we are currently facing with this is around supply chain, materials - GIB, cost of transporting materials to Northland, the wet weather, COVID within the workforce, logistics across so many suppliers/iwi, and time pressure from funders.