If you’re open to change you’re an innovator.
That’s the call from Healthy Families Rotorua leader, Mapihi Raharuhi, who left the organisation this month to take on the Director Equity Outcomes & Delivery role at Lakes District Health Board.
Mapihi has led the Healthy Families Rotorua team for five years and says Healthy Families New Zealand is a unique initiative, underpinned by true partnership and high trust relationships between the funder and the team delivering.
“It’s a wonderful aspect in a contract relationship. You have that trust from the funder so you can just get on with the work and identify key people who are innovative, open to change, well connected, and flexible in the work. One of the things I’ve loved, and think is absolutely cool, is building a team that does that,” she says.
Healthy Families New Zealand focuses on the prevention of chronic disease through reducing risk factors for major health loss and inequity.
This large-scale initiative is guided by leadership to create systemic change and Healthy Families New Zealand Senior Portfolio Manager Mel Turner says Mapihi will leave a massive gap in our Kāhui Māori, our Managers network and the national movement.
Mel says, “Mapihi has been an influential leader within our Healthy Families New Zealand movement across a variety of kaupapa. Her tenacity and belief in prevention solutions that embed Te Ao Māori and Māori ‘systems return’ has had a ripple effect on mahi across all our Healthy Families locations, within the Ministry and more importantly, within our Healthy Families New Zealand communities.”
Mapihi along with Healthy Families Rotorua have helped to enable many kaupapa in Rotorua including Ka Pai Kai Rotorua, Kai Rotorua and Ngā Pātaka Kōrero o Te Arawa.
She believes Te Kāhui Māori: Healthy Families New Zealand has been one of the greatest opportunities to uplift Māori systems regeneration work.
“The Ministry of Health’s Māori Action Plan ‘Whakamaua” tells us we’re on track. We’re doing things that align to bigger plans, and the Kāhui has been effective with lots of impact.
“The other part is the unique relationship between Healthy Families Rotorua and Te Arawa Whānau Ora. Healthy Families is leading Māori systems as a preventative solution, while Whānau Ora sits at the intervention end, which helps us build the data and evidence of change.
“We’re building a whole new sector called Māori social innovation. It’s the key shift we need to work towards. Better still, we’ve got Māori social innovators whose unique point of difference is Māori systems regeneration. We’re working towards that deep and enduring change.”
While Mapihi was sad to move on from Healthy Families Rotorua, she is confident her team is already poised for creating systems change at pace. “Each person is regularly updated in the latest social innovation training, has an extensive network and a special gift. That’s what makes this team unique. I expect to see some fabulous and amazing things coming out of our team.”