November 2013: Leanne Karauna (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaiwhakairi mai i Rongomaipapa rāua ko Tuhourangi, Rangitane, Kai Tahu, Tainui – Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Maniapoto) was born and bred in Mangakino and has lived her life in the community she grew up in. For the past 15 years she has been actively involved in supporting local whānau as well as the wider community.
When it comes to her mahi (work), Leanne has a clear picture of what is important, with a key focus on whānau rangatiratanga (self-determination).
For Leanne the saying "give a man a fish he will eat for the day, teach him to fish and he will eat for a life time" rings true. Leanne believes that all whānau are capable of great things but sometimes they need that extra awhi (care, nuturing) to tautoko (support) them along, to help them believe in their own power and strength.
"My goal is to help whānau believe in themselves and persevere, to be resilient and not give up on their dreams and aspirations, whaia te iti kahurangi”, says Leanne.
Her focus in Mangakino will be on supporting whānau by helping the community to understand what Whānau Ora is and how it might help whānau dream again. To make these dreams become real the next step is to help whānau by making a Whānau Plan which details what they are aiming for and how they might achieve these goals.
As paearahi, not only does Leanne help whānau develop their Whānau Plans but she also provides valuable information and resources while helping each family navigate through the many services, organisations, programmes and people that can assist families on what will be for many a life-changing journey.
Leanne believes that "small things can make a difference" and that "manaakitanga can mean so much to someone".
"I love it when you see someone's face light up and that realisation that "yeah” they can do it or “yep, I get it!" says Leanne. It is these moments that bring Leanne joy because to her, it is that which reflects "self determination, empowerment, rangatiratanga. Whānau doing for themselves and being active participants in the choices they make.
- To contact Leanne please call the project office 07 213 1995 or email her.