July 2018: “I’ve always helped my whānau and friends get things done, so being a paeārahi was just broadening the scope of people that I was working with,” explains Pirihia (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pikiao).
She was brought up with her nanny and koro in their whānau homestead in Mourea until she was six before doing the majority of her schooling in Australia. Pirihira moved back to Rotorua to complete her senior years at Rotorua Girls’ High School.
Having previously worked as a hunting permit administrator for an iwi land trust and before that a budget advisor, Pirihira joined Te Arawa Whānau Ora in October last year.
“[My role is about] allowing whānau to understand what is out there to support, elevate them to achieve their dreams and aspirations,” she says.
Pirihira says what she enjoys about her role is seeing families make positive gains in their lives.
Seeing the joy and excitement of the whānau when they’ve achieved their goals or achieve a goal they never knew existed until we met and unlocked their story,” she says.
“My aspiration for them is to keep searching and evolving. To keep searching for what it is they really want in life and don’t stop till they achieve that.”