Danielle Karauna credits the encouragement of Whānau Ora for being able to unite her family and help her achieve her goals in life.
“I was chatting to Mangakino Paearahi, Leanne [Karauna, not directly related] one day and she gave me a run down on what her job was about and how she could offer tools and awhi to help my whānau,” Danielle (Ngāti Porou/ Ngāti Kahungungu ki Wairarapa) says.
Three years ago, her partner obtained his licences through the support of Whānau Ora which led to employment at the hydro dams.
“Leanne helped him make a path way on his goals in life – mahi, whanau etc. Money was a issue for him achieving some of those goals such as his driver license and chemical handling license and she helped him with that.”
More recently, Leanne supported Danielle in organising an unveiling for her nan and uncle.
“My nan has been gone for more than 10 years and after my nan passed all her children – my aunties, uncles and cousins split up and went their own way to Australia and down south,” Danielle says.
“Having this meant the world to us as it brought us all together – pretty much a reunion.”
Danielle works part time at the local school and in the community and hopes to continue support whānau to do well. She has recently applied for work with New Zealand Corrections and Youth Service in Tokoroa, which these opportunities are now possible since she obtained her full drivers licence with the help of Whānau Ora.
“Leanne has helped me map out my goals in life. She got me thinking and helped me get into university and is always open and non-judgmental when I’ve changed my mind. She is always ready with a listening ear,” she says.
“My whānau is more in touch with our life goals, and more financially stable. Looking ahead, our goals are to own our own home, have our own business, and to provide a happy, safe and stable home for our children.”