Since joining the Middlemore Foundation as CEO in 2018, I have been lucky enough to
witness firsthand the positive impact of our Mana-ā-riki programme on our local
Mana-ā-riki was born in 2016, in response to a growing concern about the increasing
number of children being admitted to hospital with preventable diseases such as rheumatic
fever, skin and respiratory infections. Of course, health is only part of a bigger, disturbing
picture where children in our poorer communities suffer long term disadvantages in many
aspects of their lives. If children are to fulfil their potential, they need to start from a
position of strength, healthy and well, absorbing a world class education in a nurturing
The kaupapa of Mana-ā-riki puts the child at the very centre of the programme and aims to
improve life-long outcomes for our tamariki. A holistic, integrated approach tackles issues in
health, education and homes simultaneously and allows us to reach out to families and the
local community. Ground-breaking initiatives that run across these three strands have
generated real change and had a real impact on so many of those involved.
There have been some notable successes over the past three years. I am particularly proud
of the reduction in preventable illnesses in schools. Daily clinics have provided free
accessible healthcare for families, allowing nurses and kaiārahi to catch issues early and
stop them from becoming serious. Students in Mana-ā-riki schools have shown some
remarkable successes in Writing and student engagement, taking these lifelong skills into
high school and hopefully beyond. Our Home initiative, which was largely designed and
implemented by volunteers in the community, has delivered low cost, practical support to
help create warmer, healthier homes.
I would like to personally thank our lead funding partner Westpac, our portfolio of key
funders, the Board members of the Middlemore Foundation, and of course the very many
individuals within the local community who have contributed to the success of the
programme. We have been priviledged to work with our lead service partners, Kootuitui ki
Papakura, as well as Manaiakalani, Counties Manukau Health, National Huaora Coalition and
The Southern Initiative. Without your collective energy, enthusiasm, skills, commitment
and financial support we would not have achieved all that we have.
Looking forward, I am excited to incorporate the lessons we have learnt into our future
plans to evolve place-based whānau-driven iterations of this programme into communities
in need across our region.
I hope that we can continue to make small changes that have a powerful impact in our
poorer communities, changing the odds and securing a better future for our tamariki and