Healthy Families are excited to officially welcome Tereana Ihakara and her whānau to the Far North team.
Born and raised by her elders at Hoani Waititi Marae, Tereana is passionate about bringing an ao Māori view to the table in an effort for better health outcomes for whānau.
Tereana joins us from Whaihanga within Te Rūnanga o Whainagora, where she gained valuable insight into the housing space. She will sit across the team to provide support in and around our kaupapa, supporting local champions and leaders to create healthy and sustainable systems change in Te Tai Tokerau.
Passionate about elevating rangatahi and bringing their voices to the decision-making table, Tereana has already hit the ground running working within the mid-north localities space to improve how healthcare is delivered in our communities.
She says she’s excited to build and foster strong relationships in the Far North, and to make changes in spaces that will encourage healthier choices.
Welcome to the Healthy Families whānau, Tereana!
Meet our new kaimahi and get to know what makes her tick.
Tēnā tātou katoa, i pakeke mai ahau i te hohonutanga o te aho matua. Ko te pātūwatawata o Hoani Waititi te kai pupuri i taku whatumanawa, ko te kōhanga reo te kaiwhītiki i ahau. Heoi, kei te take o te maunga o Marotiri taku whenua e noho ana, ko Ruataupare, ko Ngāti Porou ngā iwi. Ka whakamau ki ngā whetū o te rangi e whakakau mai rā te tara ki Matawhaura, te tau o taku ngākau. Ko Ngāti Pikiao te iwi. Tau atu rā ki te awahou, whaititiri ki te rangi ko Rangitāne ki te whenua, he uri tēnei nō Ngāti Raukawa. E koroingo ana ahau ki Whangaehu, kei reira taku ngākau e takoto ana, ko Ngāti Apa te iwi.
I was raised by my elders at Hoani Waititi Marae, my kura kāinga, where I attended kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa and wharekura. I then graduated from The University of Auckland in 2022 with a double major in Criminology and Māori Studies. In April 2022, my partner and I welcomed our son Muri-Aroha Ihakara-Tua. Whangaroa is where my partner and son whakapapa back to, so I am very grateful to be living in Tākou Bay and to be part of Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa.
Why did you decide to join Healthy Families Far North?
I was privileged to be a member of the Whaihanga team within Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa, where I gained invaluable insight into housing spaces. I had the opportunity to build on this experience by joining the Healthy Families team, where I can contribute my expertise on te ao Māori, but also sit across different kaupapa and bring the voice of rangatahi to the decision-making table when it comes to prevention and making choices about our health and wellbeing.
What does systems change mean to you?
Systems change to me is about fostering a shift in our community's mindset, encouraging greater emphasis on whakaaro Māori, and recognising the significance of reo Māori in our daily lives – providing safe spaces for whānau to wānanga and kōrero, to make changes in spaces that will encourage healthier choices.
What do you hope to do at Healthy Families Far North to affect and create change?
I hope to elevate the voices of rangatahi, to ensure their ideas are heard for the betterment of our future. I am also passionate about te reo Māori and am determined to ensure that Healthy Families Far North embraces both te ao Māori and the Pākehā world so that we can forge transformative pathways and bring about positive change for our communities together.
What is your vision for Te Tai Tokerau?
My vision for Te Tai Tokerau is to see that rangatahi are always at the decision-making table when it comes to making decisions that impact them.
What are you doing in your spare time?
As a young māmā, there isn’t much time to ‘spare’ (lol), but a lot of it is spent relaxing with my baby and partner at home. My partner and I have also started our own events and party hire business @partyintheboi where we get to bring our creative side to life.