28 September 2023

As Kaitohutohu Advisor at Te Puni Kōkiri, Jesney Te Puke (Tainui) helps build a better community in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by working with whānau to provide healthy homes on their whenua.

What does service to the community mean to you?

Seeing the needs, acknowledging and working hard to meet the needs, enabling/equipping/supporting whānau/hapū/iwi/community to grow, protect and future proof their resources.

How does your work make a difference?

The mahi I contribute to is to predominantly tautoko the papakāinga kaupapa, working with whānau who have aspirations to provide healthy homes in te ao Māori on their whānau whenua. This kaupapa enables whānau Māori to build warm, dry whare for their whānau whilst deepening their connection to their whenua, whanaunga, marae, hapū, iwi for their kaumatua, pēpi, tamariki, rangatahi and future generations.

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi.
With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive.

What achievements are you most proud of?

Seeing whānau, through their mātauranga, hard work, resilience and dedication go from an aspiration of returning to their whenua to making that aspiration a reality. From a bare piece of whenua to a thriving, living papakāinga where whānau can manaaki their whenua, whare, kaumatua, pēpi, host wānanga, live off their whenua – māra kai.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

Meeting whānau, hearing about their aspirations, learning about their whenua and their journey as a whānau, seeing their commitment to the kaupapa despite the hurdles that they encounter along the way.

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




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

Regardless of your background, know that you are enough. What you bring to the expansive space that is the public sector, no one else can bring because no one else is you and no one else has walked your journey.

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi.
With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive.

Keep an open mind when it comes to people and your mahi. Appreciate the diverse personalities and characters you will work alongside because together we are united by a shared passion to serve our communities and make improved change.

Take hold of every opportunity – you never know where it will take you!

Working in the Public Service

People sign up to the Public Service because they want to make a difference. Find out more about how working in the Public Service will give you opportunities, challenges, and the ability to develop an exciting career.