Meet our Team

Steven Walker - CEO


Steven has worked with Whakaatu Whanaunga Trust for over ten years. In this time Steven has seen Whakaatu grow and develop into the organisation it is today.


In today's world a leader has to be inovative and creative as well as keep up with the demands of a working team. This is reflected in the idea's and projects Whakaatu Whanaunga Trust has taken on over recent years. Steven has a heart to see people do well and the necessary skills to lead his team to do so

Amanda Walker - Human Resources


Mandy works along side our staff to ensure staffing needs are met. As well as keeping the ship afloat Mandy is involved in many community initiatives and groups which help keep Whakaatu Whanaunga Trust in the loop.


Amongst her day to day social service provision is her background work with housing and housing education.  Mandy has worked housing projects where she helped 22 whanau in to their very own homes



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Nursy Pirini- Budgeting Advisor/ Whanau Support


Nursy enjoys helping individuals and whanau. She has helped many people reach there financial goals while working as a budget advisor.


Nursy can offer practical help and emotional support to whanau that are experiencing various problems.

The primary area of concern is the care of the children, whose parents might be experiencing difficulties.

Nursy will give precise and clear direction for anyone who needs financial advice.

Memory Mio - Administration


Along with her quick wit and dry sense of humour, Memory is the front face for Whakaatu Whanaunga Trust. Her friendly manner and positive spin makes her a vital part of the Whakaatu Whanau.


As well as being responsible for all Administration duties Memory pulls from a background of social experience and health promotion, having worked 5 years in the CAYAD role she is more than just a face for our organisation

Sylvia Rangiahui - Te Ao Marama, Kairaranga


Sylvia Rangiahua has a new role as a Kairaranga for Te Ao Marama but is based at Whakaatu Whanauga Trust. The role of the Kairaranga is to do path planning with whanau who are ready and willing to make positive changes moving forward in their lives


Sylvia has a background in social services as a whanau support worker for the past 5 years. Sylvia is a whanau centred person and is here to give families choices and options that are available in the community. A Kairaranga role is to support whanau to be able to manage confidently on their own

Steven Tai - NEET


Working with today's young people is a passion for Steven, not just a job. In the short time Steven has worked for Whakaatu Whanaunga Trust he has built positive relationships with the youth of Opotiki and surrounding areas.


We believe this a vital component when working to make a difference in the lives of our rangatahi as each individual is important to us, their whanau and community.


With a focus on getting our young people into education, employment or training, Steven works closely to ensure each person is supported on their journey.


'We are a voice for those who cannot express and they are the expression of our voice.'


'Ko matou nga mangai mo era tangata te taea te kawe korero, a waihoki ko ratou te whakatinanatanga o to tatou reo'



Desiree Kora - Youth Services


Engaging with Youth trying to encourage participation is a hard task but with the right attitude and skills to communicate it can be the rewarding for anyone to do.  Desiree has been tasked with the responsibility of engaging with the youth of Opotiki the young mums and youth who have suffered breakdowns in their families.


 Desiree works alongside Work and Income youth service department to ensure obligations are being meet.
Desiree recently joined the Youth Service team in April 2013 she has a passion for the youth of our community as majority of these youth she is related to or knows the family, Desiree says that patience and a good listener are the key skills needed when engaging with youth.  


Luke Rolleston - CAYAD


Community Action Youth and Drugs is about increasing awareness and decreasing harms associated with drug and alcohol abuse, particularly when it comes to young people.


For Luke this means working to help stare the paths of our rangatahi away from the negative issues often found in modern day society. Luke is new to this line of work but has found that 95% of this job is about caring for people and working from a desire to see positive changes in the community. 



Awhina Kurei - Anti Bullying and Thinking Differently


With the issue around bullying getting more and more serious. The need to have someone out in the community working to put a stop to bullying is stronger than ever. Enter Awhina. The newest and youngest edition to the Whakaatu family. Awhina comes to us with a pletherer of skills and connections and having had her own personal experience with bullying, she know's what it feels like.


Awhina has great rapport with young people and has shown she cares about what she's trying to achieve. Anti-Bullying is a newer contract for Whakaatu Whanaunga Trust but Awhina has hit the ground running, having already gained access to the majority of  local and area schools, Awhina has established an ongoing anti-bullying program. The response from both the students and teachers has been extremely positive. 


Brooke Rangi - YWAC Manager


Brooke has played a vital role in the coming together of Whakaatu Whanaunga Trusts Youth, Whanau Activities Centre. Brooke runs the day to day management of our awesome centre as well as overseas a hearty staff.


Brooke has recently become a mother of a beautiful little girl named "Liv", who has become an important member of our staff. Liv turns up to work each day to put a smile on everybodies faces. 


As well as running her own fitness class several times a week, Brooke is a great example of what Whakaatu Whanaunga is about. Brooke has a strong vision for our youth centre go and check it out as its not hard to see where its heading

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Te Wai Kamihi Elliot - 88.1FM and Recording Studio Manager


Te Wai has recently joined the WWT team. Bringing with her an abundance of talents inlcuding a background in Radio on-air and production. Te Wai plans to take Opotiki's local radio station to the next level and beyond.


Her ability to work with people and bring out the best in them is a big reason as to why we think Te Wai is the perfect for her new role