Mana Re­cov­ery chief mov­ing on

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

When El­iz­a­beth Mea­clem took the job of chief ex­ec­u­tive at Mana Re­cov­ery she was told she was there to fix it or shut it down.

Al­most four years to the day, on July 29, Mea­clem is leav­ing to man­age a camp ground in Han­mer Springs with her hus­band.

‘‘We didn’t ex­pect it to hap­pen so soon. It all came very sud­denly. I’ve sort of been in shock I think,’’ she said.

‘‘I like new chal­lenges and when I get a place to a good spot it’s good to move on.’’

Mea­clem has been through highs and lows with the or­gan­i­sa­tion, the lat­est los­ing $430,000 a year from the Cap­i­tal & Coast District Health Board.

Mea­clem said she had many sleep­less nights over the changes, but felt it would not be the end for Mana Re­cov­ery.

‘‘It is all look­ing very pos­i­tive, look­ing at the books and how we are bal­anc­ing. We are still in a strong po­si­tion.

‘‘It’s just a lit­tle bit smaller at this stage. But we have got a growth plan to get us back through other means to the sort of rev­enue we had.’’

She said the trust would be mak­ing up the lost money by in­creas­ing the re­cy­cling side of the busi­ness.

Mea­clem said that while she was sad to be leav­ing, the dream to move to a slower pace of life was a long time com­ing.

‘‘There were a few chal­lenges here. The work­load had be­come fairly sig­nif­i­cant.

‘‘It’s what I’ve done to my­self, prob­a­bly through suc­cess, that has made my job big­ger than it needs to be.

‘‘I’ve been work­ing re­ally long hours to re­di­rect the or­gan­i­sa­tion and make sure we get through this lit­tle hur­dle and come out well at the other end.’’

Her sec­ond in com­mand, Dusty Hin­dle, will be tak­ing her place.

‘‘Dusty is in­cred­i­ble,’’ Mea­clem said.

‘‘She has got amaz­ing in­tegrity, which is so needed for this place.’’

Mea­clem is a reg­is­tered nurse and came from Aus­tralia to work for a men­tal health line. She met her hus­band and never went home.

Mana Re­cov­ery was in dire shape when Mea­clem took over, but from the wall of awards at Trash Palace you would never know it.

‘‘They said, ‘You’re ei­ther here to see us through the dif­fi­cul­ties we are in or you are go­ing to help us close down’.’’

She started ap­ply­ing for fund­ing, chang­ing poli­cies and nom­i­nat­ing the trust for awards.

‘‘It started with us re­ally want­ing to change the per­cep­tion of Mana Re­cov­ery, be­cause it wasn’t do­ing so well with the pub­lic per­cep­tion.’’

Mea­clem said she was most proud of the trainee pro­gramme for people with men­tal health chal­lenges.

‘‘Some of them might be 40 or 50 and we have given them the first job they’ve ever had. Most of these guys wouldn’t get a chance in the workplace.

‘‘We have al­ways had two ob­jec­tives of hav­ing men­tal health and sus­tain­abil­ity to­gether.

‘‘We are go­ing to con­tinue to pro­vide a place where they can so­cialise and learn, and to pro­vide them with em­ploy­ment. That’s just a great thing for the town.’’

Photo: RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

Time to go: El­iz­a­beth Mea­clem

will miss Mana Re­cov­ery.

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