Megan Lacey (Te Arawa/Ngāpuhi) joins the Healthy Families Rotorua team and brings an impressive set of skills fit to her role as the new Lead Systems Innovator for built environments.
Healthy Families Rotorua manager, Mapihi Raharuhi, welcomes Megan’s extensive experience in journalism, communications, and event management, saying her background will help the team in its efforts in tackling complex social issues.
Mapihi says, “Making a significant impact in health prevention requires clever navigation of systems’ principles, processes and practices. Mobilisation of leadership is imperative to change the way we do things in the community for better health outcomes.”
Megan has been involved in some of the city’s newest annual events, which have helped raise awareness of social issues that are underpinned by cultural values. These community offerings include Waitangi – For the Love of the People, Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival, and Te Arawa Kaumātua Olympics. Her involvement on the ground and connected to the community will add value in working from a systems’ thinking approach.
“Rotorua is well-known for its kapa haka, arts and culture, so it’s wonderful to see these strengths being used as a platform to bring communities of all ages, backgrounds and abilities together. It’s a fantastic example of forward-thinking and creating opportunities to be innovative and improving where our people live, learn, work, and play. Megan has been at the forefront of these big kaupapa in Te Arawa and we’re rapt that Megan can bring this knowledge and experience to our team.”
Megan moved to Wellington in May last year, shortly after the country came out of the COVID-19 lockdown, to take on a communications role for a government department. And while the mahi was rewarding, the pull of home proved too strong, and she hightailed it back to Rotorua 10 months later to start a new pathway with Healthy Families Rotorua.
Megan says, “I’ve built a career in communications over the past 20-odd years and been involved in some awesome projects with iwi and Māori along the way. When the opportunity came up to be part of the Healthy Families whānau, I was keen to take on a new challenge and be part of a Māori innovation kaupapa which enhances the lives of our people.”