Sarndra Mear doesn’t consider the people she helps as clients. For the Te Papa Takaro o Te Arawa (TPTOTA) Paearahi, it is a much closer relationship.
Once we engage with them they become part of our whānau. This is part of aspirational thinking for us – what’s good enough for our own whānau is good enough for the whānau we work with, therefore they are part of our whānau,” she says.
Sarndra (Ngāti Uenukukopako, Ngāti Rangiteaorere, Ngāti Tarawhai, Ngāti Upokorehe) grew up in Rotorua has been with TPTOTA for the last 15 months. She has previously worked in perinatal and Parents Under Pressure therapy.
“The role I have is diverse. It largely sees me working with Tamariki/Rangatahi and their whānau that are involved with agencies such as Oranga Tamariki, Police, Children’s Team, iCAMHS etc.”
“I engage with the whānau to support them to aspire, dream and set goals that help move them from a state of service dependency and deficit to a state of aspiration, transformation, autonomy, independence,” Sarndra says.
“It wasn’t so much that I wanted to be a Paearahi as that is a job role, it is more that I am passionate about the transformation and advancement of our people I am currently able to be part of this journey with whānau through the role of a Paearahi.”
She says operating as a team was what she loves being part of TPTOT.
“[It’s] commitment to working from Te Arawa centric ideologies first and foremost as this allows us to engage with whānau using methodologies and practices that have seen some wonderful results for whānau.”
My aspirations for whānau are that firstly; they know their environment intimately (internally and externally). Secondly, they have positive relationships with themselves, their whānau, hapū, iwi and their natural environment. Thirdly, the whānau as a collective have the tools, skills, knowledge and strategies to move towards and continue to pursue a state of excellence – whatever that means for them.”