15 November 2023

Meet Kelsey Jones (Ngāti Whakaue, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Kahungungu), Senior Advisor at Te Puni Kōkiri, based in the Kirikiriroa tari.

What does service to the community mean to you? 

A community is a mechanism that supports the aspirations of individuals within the iwi, hapū, and community.

Service to the community is about mobilising in the community, listening to the moemoeā and creating the conditions for the community to realise their aspirations. It is being responsive to the community and embracing the interconnectedness, understanding the potential of developing the greater wellbeing for a collective vision.

Service involves facilitating, broking and connecting with other groups to support the aspirations and prioritises of the community.

How does your work make a difference?

Through connecting people and building strong collaboration with other groups to support the aspirations and priorities of the community. Using gathered information of lived experiences that contribute to policy development.

What achievements are you most proud of?  

Being involved in projects supporting the utilisation of whenua by leveraging the unique connection Māori have with whenua. Creating the conditions that enable Māori organisations to design their own whānau-led outcomes, supporting whānau-centred approaches.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

Listening to the moemoeā, aspirations and strategies of whānau, iwi, hapū and organisations. Recognising and responding to the needs and working alongside iwi, hapī and whānau to navigate through government.

What are 3 words you would use to describe your work?

Fulfilling, Grateful and Kaitiaki.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the Public Service?  

Actively listen to the needs of whānau, iwi, hapū and community. Be opened minded, innovative, creative, and courageous.  Know your purpose and be clear on your role.