Te Rarawa Anga Mua Announcement

Pou Whakahaere |General Manager - Melanie Sweet

Te Rarawa Anga Mua Board is excited to announce the appointment of Melanie Sweet as their Pou Whakahaere – General Manager. Melanie brings with her a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to serving her community. With a diverse skill set acquired across various sectors, she is motivated to contribute to the overall well-being of our people.

Melanie has actively participated in Te Rarawa lead initiatives and has been a dedicated supporter of her Marae/ Hapū. The board was impressed by her enthusiasm and critical thinking, particularly in the development of Māori Hapū and Whānau. Melanie will play a pivotal role in leading and guiding us on our journey to provide services to Te Rarawa Whānau and Hapū, commencing her role in April 2024.

On behalf of the Te Rarawa Whānau whānui, we extend a warm welcome to Melanie and her whānau.

Nau mai, Haere mai, Piki mai, Kake mai!

Tēnā koutou katoa,

Ko Pou-o-te-rangi, Ko Pouerua ngā maunga

Ko Rotokakahi, Ko Waitangi me Waiaruhe ngā awa,

Ko Ohaki o Pawarenga, Ko Parawhenua ngā marae 

Ko Te Uri o Tai, Te Uri Taniwha, Te Ngare Hauata ngā Hapū

Ko Te Rarawa, Ko Te Aupōuri, me Ngāpuhi ngā Iwi

Ko Te Heringa Mei Kereama rāua Ko Titihuia ōku mātua tūpuna

Ko Jacqueline Graham toku māmā.

I am delighted to announce that I am setting forth on this journey as Pou Whakahaere of Te Rarawa Anga Mua.  It fills me with excitement to have experienced the passion, commitment, and talent already present within Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa.  My goal is to facilitate positive transformations that empower ngā uri o Te Rarawa to continue to stand confidently in their tino rangatiratanga.

Our mana motuhake guides us as we pave the way for future generations, leveraging the efforts from those before us, those who currently contribute and those who will join us in effecting positive and collaborative change that makes sense. My life's work has been dedicated to empowering others, fostering capability and capacity for those striving for better, different, and more.

My journey has been shaped significantly by raising my daughter Natasha, who lives with Prader-Willi Syndrome.  She has taught me invaluable lessons, particularly in understanding the complexities of the social and disability sectors.  With over two decades in corporate Australia, more than ten years working across various government agencies in Aotearoa, namely Wellington, Whangarei, and recently in Kaitāia, and over 30 years working with whānau, hapū and Iwi, I bring a wealth of experience to this role.

The most rewarding aspects of my career extend beyond professional achievements; they include nurturing my daughter and delving into the rich tapestry of Te Ao Māori, reconnecting my whānau to our cultural heritage.  Generations before us faced disconnection from Māoridom; while my own generation explored western beliefs and lifestyles. Now, at the prime age of 50+, I am immersed in my reo Māori journey, and reclaiming my tino rangatiratanga.

Obstacles have marked our journey, and undoubtedly, more await us as we seek to strengthen our inherent sovereignty. However, united in our pursuit of empowerment, may our endeavours thrive. Let us remember that true wealth lies in mana, not money!

I share these reflections to provide insight into my approach to this esteemed role. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that we do not tread this path alone. Each of you plays a vital role as kaimahi Māori, uplifting and empowering our people in every possible way.

Together, let us embark on this journey with determination, resilience, and a profound commitment to the advancement of ngā uri o Te Rarawa.

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi - With your contribution and mine, our people will thrive.

Noho ora mai,

Melanie Sweet

Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri, Ngāpuhi