Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Pasifika wāhine ‘making history’ with new Waikato Pasifika health hub

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
K’aute Pasifika wellbeing services delivery model project manager Mareta Matenga says it is a privilege to lead the development of the Wellbeing Service Delivery model. Photo: K’aute Pasifika.
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Aden Miles Morunga | Local Democracy Reporter

“It’s exciting to know that I am involved in making history and that my contribution will leave a legacy for my tupuna and mokopuna to be proud of.”

The words of Waikato Pasifika health advocate Mareta Matenga, who is helping lead a new Pan Pacific Community Hub in Hamilton.

“I am supporting the development of an integrated wellbeing service delivery model which will see different K’aute Pasifika owned entities operating seamlessly in the same space,” Mareta says.

“This involves me supporting Leaupepe Rachel Karalus, K’aute Pasifika CEO, to support the development of this model, by working alongside other consultants who are also working on the development of the hub.

“My role is specific to the actual services that will work out of the new hub and preparing the team to transition well to the hub.”

The Pan Pacific Community Hub will include an integrated health centre, a stand-alone early learning facility and an open fale-style community space.

The opening of the hub or fale is expected on the weekend of January 21-22 next year. The hub will offer free or low cost services in health, social, employment, housing and education.

K’aute Pasifika says the hub will enable the trust to better support the holistic wellbeing of families using Pacific models of care. It will also increase connectedness and the sense of identity, and celebrate and support academic, sporting, creative and leadership potential and achievements.

Born and raised in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton), Mareta’s parents Ere (nee Marsters, Pamati Island) and the late George Ford (Vaipae, Aitutaki Island), together with her eight siblings have dedicated their lives to serving the Hamilton Cook Island Community and their Pacific Islands Presbyterian faith community.

Mareta is well-known within the Waikato community and has more than 20 years’ experience working in community development and community-led approaches.

“I remember being involved over the years in many community fono to dream and discuss how a place like the Pan Pacific Community Hub will help our community thrive and to celebrate our Pacific-ness in Kirikiriroa,” she says.

Mareta says it is exciting to be involved in creating history and that her contribution will leave a legacy for her tupuna and mokopuna.

K’aute Pasifika Chief executive Rachel Karalus says Mareta’s strong community experience and connections is an asset to the organisation and the Waikato community.

“Mareta is a well-known and respected community leader who has dedicated herself to support not only her Cook Island community but all the communities in the Waikato,” she said.

“Mareta’s extensive experience in community engagement, community development and planning large scale projects and events will be invaluable to the development of the Wellbeing Service Delivery Model, that will sit inside and across the Pan Pacific Community Hub.”

Mareta says she is also grateful for the 20 years she has worked at the Hamilton City Council, and the vast experiences working with the Waikato community.

“I’m a proud Cook Islander and love knowing that my community support me, not only in the city of Hamilton, region of Waikato, Nation of Aotearoa, but also throughout the world.”



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