A passionate Mahia local who dedicates her time to the community is a finalist for the 2017 Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year.
Pauline Tangiora who moved back to Hawke’s Bay in 1980 said the award was for the people of Mahia, Napier, Hastings and Hawke’s Bay.
“I am so grateful for the support everybody has given me and it is not an award just for me but for everyone in the district.”
The annual New Zealander of the Year awards are in their eighth year and work to acknowledge people like Mrs Tangiora who use their passion for New Zealand to make the country a better place.
Mrs Tangiora, a Maori elder from Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, is an active member of many community groups including Maori Women’s Welfare League and Lifeline Telephone Support.
She was a vital part of EIT for more than 30 years, helping youth and their families develop for life and study.
“It is the love of my life supporting these people as there is so much going for them.”
“What’s amazing is their parents then learn to follow in their childrens footsteps when before they never thought they would study. It is fantastic to watch and so rewarding.”
Mrs Tangiora dedicates her time to helping these families and works to help them in all facets of life.
“I try to help youth move on with their lives as they often find it challenging. We look at a range of areas such as family, the environment and health. You can’t just put things in boxes.”
Mrs Tangiora has also been a key contributor at both a local and international level on human rights, spiritual leadership, peace and conflict resolution and indigenous issues.
She was the former president and is the current vice president of Women’s International League for Peace Freedom Aotearoa, a former representative for the World Council for Indigenous Peoples and a committee member of Rigoberta Menchu Tum Nobel Laureate Indigenous Initiative for Peace.
“I have learnt how to deal with everything internationally and nationally. My father always said to me ‘keep your mouth shut and listen’ and that’s the best advice I got, as you never stop learning.”
Mrs Tangiora was acknowledged for her positive influence on the lives of many locals and her ability to give back to the community wherever she could.