Ko Maakeo me Mauao ngā Maunga
Ko Waiaua te Awa, Ko Te Awanui ki Tauranga te Moana
Ko Waiaua me Opureora ngā Marae
Ko Ngati Patumoana me Ngai Tuwhīwhia ngā Hapū
Ko Mataatua te Waka
Ko Te Whakatōhea me Ngaiterangi ngā Iwi
Ko Paula-Mauri Mokomoko tōku ingoa.
What’s up! My name is Paula Mokomoko; I was born in Tauranga Moana, raised in Wellington and now reside under the beautiful shade of Mt Maunganui. I am 24 years young and am currently employed as .5 Whānau Ora Coordinator and .5 Youth Worker at Te Puna Hauora ki Uta ki Tai. I have been in the work force officially for two years but have been engaged within the Mental Health sector on a voluntary basis in the TNT Tuakana Teina Rangatahi Advisory group since 2008. Since the early days I have upgraded my status from Teina to Tuakana and now have a major leadership role with my involvement at Te Puna Hauora Ki Uta Ki Tai with TNT.
Back in 2010, I completed an 80 hour placement at Te Puna Hauora to see what the workload is like in the Mental Health sector. I fell in love with the mahi after having the hands-on experience in the field alongside registered practitioners. Since then I have studied and graduated the Diploma in Social Services Work in Suicide Intervention & Prevention and the Diploma in Applied Maori Health: Coexisting Disorders. With these tohu I was provided with an opportunity and have since been working in the Mental Health industry and love the work I do every day; co-facilitating Mana Rangatahi & Life Skills programs, making and building connections with the youth and letting youth feel like they can be themselves in a safe environment.
In 2013, I was the recipient for the Bob Henare Tohu Hiranga Award - an award that acknowledges excellence and innovation, and Maori Leadership in the Mental Health and Addiction sectors. Through receiving this award, I was able to create and produce a DVD called ‘Kia Ora ai te Māuri o te Tangata’. This DVD tells the stories of two rangatahi that have overcome their addictions and taken positive steps towards wellness and a drug-free life. It is designed as a resource and inspirational tool for rangatahi facing similar issues.
My current goal is to run different programmes for rangatahi that enable them to learn basic life skills, become team players and better know ones-self so they are able to achieve their future goals. The latest programme our TNT group have just started is ‘Leadership through Dance’ - a hip hop programme.