Family first, says Joanne Aoake
Joanne Aoake has a heart and a passion for her whanau and community.
Raised and educated in Matamata, Aoake is contesting one of the four seats for the Matamata Ward, of the Matamata-Piako local government elections.
Aoake has sat on numerous boards and national committees, including the Smoke-Free Coalition, Te Raumatatini Mental Health, Public Health Association and more locally, the Pohlen Hospital Board.
She says an extensive interest in Government and nonGovernment sectors makes her prepared and capable of representing Matamata at council.
‘‘I have the academic and management credentials to do the work in the council, but that for me isn’t as important as family is and the investment in this community. We are invested here.’’
Aoake is one of five generations from Okauia. She says her family is what keeps her grounded in the place she loves and it is her family that she speaks for.
‘‘I am not the voice for anyone but my family.’’
She considered entering local government politics only a few months ago, after being prompted by a close friend.
Aoake says she has studied the profiles of the other candidates and councillors carefully and thought about what she could offer.
‘‘When I first looked at who was involved in council, I thought, what would I add? I add diversity.’’
Aoake says she has some qualities which are the same as the other candidates but she also has other qualities which are dif- ferent.
‘‘And if we put that all together, then we will be more fully rounded.’’
Aoake says she isn’t entering local politics as a voice for Maori, it’s not what she has been asked or given permission to do. But she is an advocate and participant on marae and iwi development and involved in the learning of the reo.
Part of her campaign is encouraging young people to add value to Matamata, ‘‘our place’’.
Although Aoake claims to not having an agenda, she just wants to use the knowledge and the abilities she has gained throughout her career to make a positive impact on the community she has grown up in.
‘‘I’m here, how can I help with the skills that I have?’’
Joanne Aoake, with family members Timatanga Baigent, Terere Aoake, Te Koha Aoake and Eunice Smith nee Aoake.