Back in the late 1970’s, Huakina as we know it today; evolved out of a support group named Te Puaha ki Manuka. TPkM was made up of Kaumatua and Kuia from Waikato Tainui Marae and Papakainga that stretched from the Lower Waikato River to the Manukau Harbour.
They came together out of the concern of the on-going pollution and destruction of the Waikato River, the Manukau Harbour, Whenua, Waahi tapu etc. Their united strength gave them recognition and soon later became an environmental pressure group to address the impacts on our Taonga and Whenua. The name itself – TPkM; was given to this region by the late Te Arikinui when Waikato Tainui were fundraising for the new Kimiora complex at Turangawaewae.
Then in the early 1980s TPkM was approached by Sir Robert Mahuta of the Tainui Maori Trust Board. He asked them to consider becoming a Management Committee of the TMTB. This would mean taking on extra responsibilities like the social, health and economic portfolios as well as environmental. TPkM discussed the offer with the 23 Waikato Tainui Marae and Papakainga and realised they were asked to look after the northern tribal region of Waikato Tainui.
Eventually after some long debates TPkM agreed and a Charitable Trust was set up in 1983 in the name of the Huakina Development Trust.
In the years that followed the responsibilities of Huakina grew. As they got better at addressing social and health issues, their strength in knowing the whenua and having a deep passion in the environmental arena started to grow. So much so, in the late 1980’s Huakina became the Environmental Authority of the Tainui Maori Trust Board. Huakina maintained responsibility until the new Tribal structure was put into place following the Raupatu Settlement.
The objective of Huakina was to open doors that would provide opportunities for whanau to increase their knowledge and build their capacity to look after their socio-economic needs and to assume their responsibilities to look after their waterways, land, air and special places.
To this day, out of the 23 Waikato Tainui Marae and Papakainga that were affiliated to Huakina, 11 of those remain.
The whanau of the Marae that are no longer with Huakina are providing remedies for their own socio-economic concerns and are participating in the enhancement and protection of their environment and special places.
Those that remain with Huakina have the capacity to do the same but choose to stay within a Marae Cluster while identifying issues that they will manage for themselves e.g. environment.
Huakina continues to deliver on its original objective of looking for opportunities that will assist in achieving its vision of Unleashing the Potential of People.
Our Whanau and Community
Huakina is characterized by a very long history, in fact over 30 years of being strongly driven in a time when the social impacts of economic change on families demanded a nurturing style of management and to bring a semblance of order to the breakdown such changes were making on families right across the national grid and in particular on Maori Whanau.
From the onset its community was clearly defined as Maori but in particular to Whanau from the Waikato Tainui Marae and Papakainga residing in the Te Puaha ki Manuka tribal region more commonly known nowadays as Counties Manukau.
Nowadays its community is much broader and now consists of Taurahere, European, Asian and Pacific Island user groups. These groupings (Non Maori) make up almost 40% of its service users.
As a result of those earlier drivers that bought about change and the inroads that were gained in the areas of Environmental Sciences in particular to Kaitiakitanga (Guardians), Disability Support Services, Housing Programme, Health Services, Iwi Social Services, Dairy Farming, Legal Services and Tertiary Education Programmes, Huakina has extensive knowledge and grass roots practical experience of designing and developing services and through participation have maintained strong stakeholder relationships over that time to achieve higher levels of Whanau Ora.
Huakina will continue to focus on achieving outcomes and to grow its core business. Its Mission is Huakina – a champion of growing healthy communities. Development projects linked to achieving this will focus on the priority community and population wide results. This will contribute to our ability to achieve our ultimate Vision of Unleashing the Potential of People.
Our internal transformation will progress and continue to evolve so that our services become more integrated, coordinated and are of the highest quality and to move towards an improved streamlined approach so that it does not matter where our Whanau enter our service, they will receive a consistently high standard of integrated care.
In short, we will also maintain and create a roadmap for incremental transformational change towards a higher level of service integration so to achieve a higher level of Whanau Ora.