Mason Ngawhika is of Ngāi Tahu and Te Arawa descent and grew up in Whakatū, Nelson. He is a true believer in the ideology of a systems based approach and the scaled effect it can have on communities.
Inspired and motivated by his three children, Mason is a strong advocate for Māori wellbeing and systems.
“I am the Kaiārahi Māori, Māori Systems Manager. Internally I ensure that at all levels, our organisation is responsive to Māori values and aspirations. Externally I am involved in multiple kaupapa aimed at improving the lives of Māori living Tamaki ki te Tonga. The key theme throughout is whanaungatanga, ie forming and maintaining key relationships.”
“My work is focused on promoting and advocating for Māori identity and wellbeing, growing the maramataka eco-system, advocating for continued and increasing access to the natural environment and an urban landscape that is conducive to promoting the wairua o te tangata. Maintaining, enhancing or creating connection for people, to places, wairua spaces and each other, creates conditions for whānau flourishing.”
What is your vision for health and wellbeing in South Auckland?
“That one day mana whenua have the resources and influence to practice manaakitanga to those of us who live within their whenua and, that due to systemic modifications, Māori find ourselves in the truly privileged position to assist non-Māori and other communities to close the gaps in order to achieve health equity.”
What is an Interesting fact about you?
My father and I walked the whole Abel Tasman National Park in jandals, our tent was a 2m x 1m piece of canvas and we lived on expired army rations. YUM!