The Huia Awards are an annual celebration of New Zealand’s older people and those who support them.
“I am delighted to celebrate Marcia Te Au Thomson, Rangimahora Reddy, and Malia Hamani as the esteemed winners of our 2022 Huia Awards, says Karen Billings-Jensen, Age Concern New Zealand Chief Executive.
“It is timely to honour these three remarkable women: Marcia Te Au Thomson, Rangimahora Reddy, and Malia Hamani as part of our International Day of the Older Person celebrations in 2022.
Marcia Te Au – Thomson
If you have ever sought to have a real-life example of the proverb “Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te tangata”, you need look no further than Waihopai’s beautiful wāhine rangatira, Marcia Te Au-Thomson who lives that adage “that with your contribution and my contribution the people will thrive”.
Marcia has a focus on all things “luscious” she sees the beauty and the positivity in life and embeds this in the life of those around her. This is apparent from her uplifting Facebook posts and is interwoven into her daily life with the work she undertakes at Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust.
Marcia has an active role with the Kaumatua group at Te Tomairangi Marae in Murihuku. Her role includes sharing Waiata, involvement with the Ukelele Group, helping in the kitchen, setting up and helping to facilitate the social media pages for the community during the pandemic to ensure a digital community for the members was maintained and supported albeit at a distance; operating a phone tree system to check on members; picking up and taking people for errands, coffee catch ups and other social opportunities with a goal to foster community, friendship, respect and positivity for the kaumatua.
Marcia’s commitment to her community is unique and far-reaching from her roles as a Celebrant, a Justice of the Peace, a board member, or co-opted member on various District Health Board entities and working with education institutions as pastoral support.
Rangimahora is a leading light for the Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust – she actively promotes the Kaupapa to support Kaumātua (55 years and over) with culturally focused, appropriate and accessible health, social and community-based activities and services. The overarching aim being to enhance the quality of life and well-being of Kaumātua.
Rangimahora extends her expertise and generously shares her talent, wisdom, and mahi to all of Aotearoa. She offers her expert advice to government, community, and business organisations both in Aotearoa and globally.
Currently, Rangimahora collaborates with university researchers in research funded by Building Better Homes Towns & Cities and Ageing Well National Science Challenges, and the Health Research Council. She also leads the upgrade of Rauawaawa’s redevelopment which will meet the needs for “age and kaumātua friendly” community facilities.
Rangimahora actively advocates for the rights and well-being of Kaumātua, her dedication and aroha for the work she does for Kaumātua of Aotearoa is admirable and she is an excellent inaugural Huia Award recipient.
Malia Hamani has been dedicated to working with older Pacifica peoples for decades. She set up and is still managing the organisation TOA Pacific (Treasuring Older Adults – Pacific)
Malia Hamani is the founding member of the first Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention and the Empower and Pamper Programme. She was involved in the establishment of the Pacific Islands Home Care Service. She was also the Chair of the Fakatouato Community Trust, a member of the community reference group for the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, and a Pacific Islands representative on the Regional Mental Health Committee and the National Carers Alliance.
Malia continues her advocacy across national and local community issues in recognition of the needs of older Pacifica people. She has built up extensive experience with the social connection, carer support, and elder abuse prevention needs of older Pacifica people.
The Huia Awards are an annual celebration of New Zealand’s older people and those who support them. The Huia feather is a sacred treasure for Māori, symbolising leadership and mana. Huia feathers were traditionally given as tokens of friendship. Each year we will award three recipients a Huia Award. Nominations must show how recipients support our kaumātua and make positive differences for them.
Age Concern brings people together across generations, places, and cultures, nationally and locally. In the Age Concern whānau, everyone is welcome and valued.