Mihimihi ceremony welcomes new Enable NZ General Manager Michelle Riwai

Yesterday morning Hare Arapere, Kaupapa Māori Manager Pae Ora Māori Health Directorate, joined Enable New Zealand staff to lead a mihimihi ceremony which welcomed Michelle Riwai into leadership as the new General Manager.

Michelle commenced her role remotely on 6th April, and Monday was her first formal day in the Main Street head office. It was also the first day back on site for many Enable NZ staff.

Hare opened the assembly with karakia. He later explained that part of what he shared was tane-te-wananga—a journey to find what Michelle would need for her time in leadership, including knowledge, stability and whānau.

Hare also shared about Michelle’s whakapapa, her long family history in the Manawatu and her many connections with the community. 

Michelle greeted staff, saying both a thank you for the welcome and a welcome to staff returning to the office for the first time since lockdown.

She commented, “my first days in this role were unusual, but even so I was able to sense the closeness of this team and their sense of the importance of Enable New Zealand’s work.”

Michelle highlighted a recent post from a staff member about keeping the people we serve front of mind, even during the post-lockdown rush.

“That comment brought the heart into the work. That is what I hope for and ask for from us all—to bring our hearts into caring for needs of our customers, our heads and knowledge to create solutions, and our hands to take action. Hearts, heads and hands—with these we can make a difference.”

Michelle receives a tokotoko from Hare

Michelle receives a tokotoko from Hare as a symbol of her new leadership role