Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga new CEO hits the ground running

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Waylyn Tahuri Whai-Pakanga is taking up the helm of one of Hawkes Bay’s biggest employers of Māori, Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga.

More than 300 staff deliver health and social services to communities in Hawkes Bay, from Mahia to Rimutaka and across to Palmerston North.

Waylyn says she is most proud of the fact that the organization is whānau led and representative of 14 Heretaunga marae.

“All of our board members are elected so our whānau can exercise their rangatiratanga to have a say on the future of our health services in Heretaunga.”

She describes her first few days as CEO as full-on and packed with memories of people who have helped her.

"A lot of people have done a lot of work prior to me. Our kaumātua and our kuia have laid the foundations, now it's up to us who are willing to move forward for the future of our tamariki."

Waylyn is a successful businesswoman of 20 years and told Te Ao Tapatahi she has relinquished some responsibilities to her partner.  

“I've had to let go of some of that … that's one of the consequences of this role and I am happy to do that.”