Trustee Voice: A Change in Direction

Posted on: 28/02/22

I have been a trustee of NCF for approximately four years. When I first joined NCF’s board I was a civil litigation lawyer fresh out of Auckland after moving to Whangarei Heads in search of a better lifestyle. If someone had told me then, that within four years of my move I would suffer a marriage breakdown, be living on a piece of land with very basic accommodation, and leave the legal profession, I would have immediately frozen in Auckland in fear that something terribly awful was going to happen. But it didn’t…

Growing up and having whanau roots near the Waitakere Rangers allowed me to realise a connection with New Zealand’s native bush from an early age. Hikes with my Grandad in my younger years led to bush walks, treks and trail running in my adult years. Spending time in the bush always gave me a good physical workout, some peaceful space for mindfulness, and a sense of comfort that everything, at least for that moment in time, was okay. Now, after having the privilege of living not far from the Bream Head (Te Whara) Scenic Reserve, my appreciation of the bush has turned into a fierce love.

An energy exudes from Te Whara which I only assume manifests from its mana with local iwi and the aroha this maunga has received from the community, working for over 20 years to bring it back to its beautiful natural state. I have spent many an hour in the reserve - for pleasure and spiritual sustenance in difficult times. I am forever indebted for its beauty and guidance. Always enjoying team sporting activities and community work, I was a volunteer firefighter for seven years, and coached netball teams prior to having children and studying law. When I moved to the Heads in 2017 with two young boys and a promising legal career, I felt a responsibility to use the skills and knowledge I had obtained for something other than making a dollar.