Clear trust vision
He tirohanga ma¯ rama no¯ te Poari
Koro Wikeepa’s passion for education started when his father bought him his first reading book 50 years ago.
The newly appointed Raukawa Charitable Trust general manager has been inspiring others, especially Maori, to learn ever since.
He said his goal for the next year is to look at the service delivery in the South Waikato, from health and social services to environmental and cultural services.
‘‘ I want to make sure we’re fit for purpose.’’
Wikeepa brings a wealth of knowledge to the position having spent the last seven years with Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi and prior to that four years as chief financial officer of Wintec.
And through all his worldly experiences, his still draws on his childhood for inspiration.
‘‘One of the most significant ways we can improve Maori outcomes is by improving education outcomes,’’ he said.
It is a ‘‘tried and true’’ method for the 55-year-old who recalls being one of very few Maori students studying for a bachelor of commerce.
‘‘I think of role models in my life and to me, my father was an important role model in that he encouraged me to pursue education.’’
He said his father, a labourer, wanted to ‘‘ broaden’’ Wikeepa’s horizons.
Wikeepa was the first person to get a degree in his wider whanau but certainly not the last.
Amongst his own eight children are engineers, interior designers, farmers and emerging doctors.
He said his goal is to provide the Rangataahi with resources and support.
He said change in our community will only come through effective collaboration with other organisations.
The key will be focusing on ‘‘doing each what we do best’’, he said.
Wikeepa said he is not expecting to see change overnight.
‘‘ Just to embed opportunities can take two to three years, then to see them grow and flourish takes longer.’’
Guiding light: Koro Wikeepa says the key to improving outcomes for Maori is education.