New Leadership for the community committee

15 MAY, 2019 | Tāmaki News
Scott Morgan

A fresh set of local leaders are set to help Tāmaki Regeneration stay in touch with what is happening in the area.

Maria Meredith has taken on a new role that will help her continue to make a difference in the community she’s served for more than three decades.
She has been elected chairperson of Tāmaki Regeneration Company’s Community Liaison Committee (CLC)– a group that provide community expertise to influence the Tāmaki Regeneration programme and its activities.
Maria’s roots in the community run deep, serving a diverse range of groups, from the St Pius School Board of Trustees in Glen Innes to the Maniakilani Education Trust.
“I have worked and taught in tertiary education for 20 years, raised four children together with my husband and lived and worked in the community for 35 years. Looking at the area and thinking about the community, it has quite a diverse and rich history. There’s a lot potential in our area.”
Maria, who has been on the committee for a year, has found it a useful way of gaining knowledge about what is happening in Tāmaki. And the CLC position is one that fits in nicely with Maria’s role as a Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board member, she says. “The beauty of being part of the CLC community is you’re able to talk and share about issues that are happening across the area, including what’s going on in local government. We’re planning on keeping our finger on the pulse and informing each other about various issues. You can connect at the table of the CLC.”
The committee has helped integrate TRC with the community, she says. “TRC was viewed with caution when people were quite opposed to the regeneration project. Now there is a better understanding of what they are trying to do.”
It is about finding ways to support each other, with the support of TRC, she says. Maria says connecting with the community is key to making the committee’s actions a success. “I want to build our community, listen to them, and create things people can engage with, like events and directing jobseekers to the Jobs & Skills Hub. The goal is to provide direction for our community, and to do our best to be involved in decision-making that affects the community. I really want to hear what the people have to say.” Maria acknowledges there are problems in the area, including social and economic deprivation. However, contributing something positive can make a real difference, she says.
She is excited TRC is supporting programmes designed to engage locals and promote wellbeing. “TRC is trying to keep lots happening in the community. The more community engagement and events there are the better. TRC’s Pasifika Gala and Chinese New Year celebrations are fantastic examples of this engagement", Maria says. “In our community, compared with other parts of Auckland, you don’t have too many events that bring people together. It’s about coming up with ideas to bring people together in different spaces. TRC has its finger on the pulse. Their work impacts the community.

Alongside Maria’s election as chairperson, four new members have been appointed to the CLC. They are Goretti Kalolo, Tracey Fausett, Villiami Richard Takapautolo and Deborah Misiuepa, who join deputy chair Georgie Thompson, Chris Sutton, Nerissa Henry and Bill Takerei.