Hoki and Owen Purcell recognised for services to elderly and Māori

By Te Ao - Māori News

Hoki Purcell and Owen Purcell have been recognised in the New Year Honours List with Queen's Service Medals (QSM) for services to seniors and Māori. 

Hoki Purcell

Mrs Purcell is a founding member of Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust (Rauawaawa) since its establishment in the Waikato in 1997.

Rauawaawa provides a range of culturally focused, appropriate and accessible health, social and community-based activities and services for seniors.  

Mrs Purcell led a fundraising campaign in 2019 for upgrades to the Rauawaawa facility, with the first stage of work being completed in January 2020. 

She played a key role in Rauawaawa joining the Te Ngira Whānau Ora Collective, recognising the importance of including seniors in the Whānau Ora space.

Mrs Purcell has helped implement kaumātua-led initiatives, such as Aroha ngā Mokopuna, a three-year inter-generational project with 10 volunteer kaumātua supporting children in low decile schools.  

She also initiated the He Maimai Aroha Suicide Prevention and Support resource video series to advocate for kaumātua affected by suicide. Mrs Purcell has been a founding member of Hei Manaaki ngā Kaumātua and organiser of the annual National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference since 2007. 

She played a significant role in the development of Moa Crescent Village in Hamilton, a development of 14 purpose-built units for homeless seniors. Since 2010, Mrs Purcell has worked with University of Waikato researchers to advocate and promote the voices of seniors, presenting research findings nationally and internationally. 

Owen Purcell

Mr Owen Purcell has been a founding member and chair since 2012 of Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust.

He has been involved with an upgrade project for Rauawaawa’s facility since 2019. He was integral to Rauawaawa joining the Te Ngira Whānau Ora Collective, recognising the importance of including seniors in the Whānau Ora space. 

Mr Purcell also played a significant role in the Moa Crescent village project in Hamilton. He has been involved in leading ‘Hei manaaki ngā Kaumātua’, the National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference since 2007.  

Mr Purcell has helped the University of Waikato in the implementation and dissemination of research projects, such as ‘Māori Health Literacy and Communication in Palliative Care: Kaumātua-led models’.  

He has been chair, deputy chair and board member of Te Rūnanga o Kirikiriroa Charitable Trust. He has been director of Te Kōhao Health, co-chair of Safer Hamilton Committee, director of Te Ngā Rau Tatangi (Māori Housing Foundation), associate board member of Ngāti Kahungunu Inc., and committee member of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Kiririoa.  

Mr Purcell was president of the New Zealand Labour Missionaries Association from 1999 to 2017.