Together, in 2008, the couple formed WERA Aotearoa Charitable Trust (WACT) which grew out of their deep desire to provide services that were effective and relative to communities throughout Aotearoa. Mr Hawkins, General Manager of WACT explains, "we wanted to develop services and create a way to deliver those services based on our lifetime of experiences and the deep understanding that came from working within and amongst our communities."
Because of the need to be on the ground, working amongst the whanau, WACT set up, in the space of six short years offices in Rotorua, Whakatane and Tokoroa. During that time, they have grown and now focus on the not only Whānau Ora but also Tikanga and Te Reo Wānanga, Youth Services, Employment Placement and Industry Partnerships.
WERA Aotearoa Charitable Trust believes that Whānau Ora is about supporting the health and wellbeing of our whānau to live in safe, positive and contributing communities where all whānau are treated and participate equally in society.
For Mr Hawkins "being part of the Te Arawa Whānau Ora Collective means we can connect with like-minded passionate organisations who work with whānau delivering together as a collective in our communities".
WERA Aotearoa Charitable Trust has become the 8th provider to join the Collective which includes Aroha Mai Cancer Support Group Trust, Korowai Aroha Trust, Maketu Health & Social Services, Te Papa Tākaro o Te Arawa, Te Rōpu a Iwi o Te Arawa Charitable Trust – Maatua Whangai, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Pikiao Trust and Te Waiariki Purea Trust.
Mr Hawkins sees being part of the Collective as providing a series of key benefits which include, "a combined delivery of service, being able to offer specialised services to whānau, engage in strategic management of whānau and community needs as well as enhancing the their collective ability to forecasting community needs proactively."
Ultimately, what Mr Hawkins loves about what he does, is the opportunity of being allowed to work with whānau that support them to achieve their goals.
- To learn more about the services offered by WERA Aotearoa Charitable Trust, please visit their website.