Lead Paearahi for Te Arawa Whānau Ora says it’s the “small stuff” she gets a buzz from while working with whānau.
Hinehou Stoneham (Whakatohea, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungungu) started working with Whānau Ora in 2012 at Wera Aotearoa Charitable Trust as a Paearahi before taking a break in 2016. She later worked at Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Pikiao before joining the team at Te Arawa Whānau Ora.
I think that without realising it, women inherently do this type of mahi when they reach a certain stage in their lives. It’s that ‘nature-nurture’ debate which influences where we sit in the scheme of things, relative to our world,” Hinehou says.
“The buzz I get is from the small” stuff. Working with whānau who are open to hearing about ways of changing their lifestyle, behaviour, vision and giving whānau advice about different ways of strategising and coping with day to day life. Watching whānau achieve their moemoea.”
“Sitting and gaining a driver’s license is something that we take for granted. When you present this as a moemoea to whānau and paint the bigger picture about what being a legal driver means – being able to take the kids to school, being able to travel to whānau hui and events, being able to drive to a doctor’s appointment, being able to tell a prospective employer that you have a driver’s licence, all of these things add up to security, financial stability (no more fines) and a sense of achievement.”
Born in Opotiki and raised throughout the rohe of Tūhoe and Te Arawa, Hinehou has studied at Waiariki Institute of Technology (now Toi Ohomai), Victoria University and Auckland Unitec towards a Bachelor of Social Work.
Memorable moments for Hinehou include one of the whānau she was working with having that “light bulb” moment whilst reading their Whānau Ora plan, “priceless!” she says with joy, adding; “Another whānau, when reviewing their whānau plan were quick to highlight the areas of the plan where they had achieved significant milestones.
“They wanted these achievements recorded, they were immensely proud. I also remember vividly, watching the look on the face of a mother, who had not worked for four years and through the help of WERA gained full time employment – just incredible, the pride she had to be working again was just awesome to witness.”
Hinehou feels privileged to work with the whānau she supports and watch them as they realise the strength and power of their own skills and abilities. “That whānau invite me into their very private lives as they begin to peel back the layers and include me in their revelations, is very humbling indeed” Hinehou exclaims softly.
Why Te Arawa Whānau Ora Works
Te Arawa Whānau Ora has been successful because it ensures whānau are able to determine their own goals and are given positive support to achieve them. Te Arawa Whānau Ora will work with groups, whānau and individuals to support them to become successful.
Te Arawa Whānau Ora works because it puts whānau in the driver’s seat, they define their own goals and make their own decisions. Te Arawa Whānau Ora has helped thousands of whānau members over the last several years. If you would like to know more please contact us.