Helen Leahy resigns from Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu - The Whānau ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island is about to farewell its pouārahi, Helen Leahy. 

After seven years in the job, she has resigned and is heading to the North Island.

“The most exciting thing for Whānau Ora in Te Waipounamu has been the multitude of ways in which whanau respond to the challenge of how they do for themselves and how they live their best life, and that has been the greatest privilege of my life," Leahy says. " It's been a dream come true to be able to support them in that way.” 

Helen Leahy started at Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu shortly after it was established in 2015. She says her mahi as pouārahi has been in part, to honour her mentor, Dame Tariana Turia. 

“It's given me the opportunity to serve the people and serve her legacy in a way that allows whanau dreams to come forward.”

Leahy’s resignation follows her partner's appointment to the pou whirinaki role with Ngāti Rangi, and the relocation of their whānau to their home beneath Ruapehu maunga.

Recruitment for her replacement has begun and Leahy has some strong words of advice: “Serve the people, love the people, and never think that you have the answers, because the answers are to be found by the solutions that are designed by whanau for whānau with whānau.”

Her last day will be on May 5.