Recruitment and re-building the team have been the major focus for Healthy Families Rotorua this year.
In 2021, we farewelled our leader, Mapihi Raharuhi, and team members Heeni Brown, Ngareta Raharuhi and Gevana Dean. Each of these wonderful wāhine left big shoes to fill, however it gave others the opportunity to step up into new roles, with Jenny Kaka-Scott effortlessly taking over as manager and Jade Kameta naturally progressing to Rautaki Māori.
With the introduction of Megan Lacey, Mariana Vercoe, Pirihira Whata, Ranui Maxwell, Stevee Wikiriwhi and Alex Knight, the team has doubled in size and capacity, and ready to make waves which align with the Healthy Families impact strategy.
Jenny says the right people have come onboard at the right time, and she is pleased with how the team has gelled.
“We’ve been in rebuild mode for the majority of 2021, and we should get really good traction on that shortly. There’s a lot of commitment and passion for Māori systems return, for co-designing, and getting in and supporting our community to make these things possible.
“The team has already clicked that these things are not quick fixes. We build for sustainability, and we build for impact. I think that mindset is strong already.”
Healthy Families Rotorua’s Senior Leadership Group also underwent an overhaul, with Mapihi, Zalene Douglas, Aneta Morgan, Anahera Waru and Pollyanne Taare joining the ranks.
“We already had a large committee but quite often our hui were small as members couldn’t attend due to other commitments,” says Jenny. “Rather than remove members, we extended it, to ensure we’d have enough input and direction around the table. It also enabled us to allocate SLG support next to individual kaupapa.”
Over the past 12 months there has also been a big focus on Kai, re-setting the Play and Built Environment spaces, along with physical activity, and mental health with a Te Arawa Sleep Strategy.
“Our Te Hekenga-ā-Rongo livestream event brought all our kaupapa together, along with third-party endorsement about the impact maramataka has had on people’s lives. You can’t crank that up unless you’ve got a team, but I can see all these things really taking off now.
“Obviously, Covid disrupted mahi for everyone. But we’ve just got to be resilient and Te Hekenga-ā-Rongo was evidence of our resilience. It was a good learning curve for us and successfully pulling that off gives us confidence for the future. Overall, it’s been a really positive year,” says Jenny.