Community Newsletter - October 2020


Kia ora Whānau

What a huge year it has been for all of us. Our experience at IHAD has been that the events of 2020 have brought us closer together as a Team, with our Dreamers, Whānau and Kura. During these times of heightened adversity and challenge we have been reminded of the strength we have when we work collectively to look after and uplift our communities. It has been awesome to see how our Navigators and staff have stayed focused, stayed strong and really grown as individuals and as a Team throughout the year.

These experiences, as hard as some of them have been, and that strength that we found through the course of them, will forever be a part of our Kaupapa I’m sure. Last Term, our longstanding CEO Ant Backhouse left us to pursue exciting, new career opportunities. Ant’s efforts and legacy at I Have a Dream are unparalleled having been involved since the Trust was established in 2003, leading the pilot project in Mt Roskill, Auckland. Subsequently, he led the expansion into our four Partner  schools in Whangārei in 2016. Ant gave his all for the children of Mt Roskill, and more recently for an even larger group of children in Northland. All of us associated with the Trust owe Ant a huge thank you for his tireless efforts, his humanity and long service. We wish him well for the future.

I now have the privilege of being Acting CEO and I really do mean that it is a privilege. I have been working in an advisory capacity to IHAD for the past year mainly focused on our plans to expand IHAD into new communities in Whangārei and Northland. As we near the end of our 5th year in Whangārei I am incredibly excited about the potential for the organisation to continue to evolve, grow and contribute hugely to the wellbeing and success of the communities we serve. As our aspiration and plans to expand are still well and truly alive as well – so watch that space in 2021!

A big thank you to Totara Grove for hosting our recent Visitor only Day. These days are really important to our donors as it gives them an opportunity to visit one of our partner schools and enjoy a day amongst the Dreamers and our Navigators. The children were amazing at leading the pōwhiri with many of our guests impressed by the beautiful singing and the students te reo Māori koreo.

Sadly, we farewelled Marcia Hopa last week. Marcia is heading off to follow her dreams including devoting more time to her growing business, Niwha creative. Marcia started with IHAD in January 2016 which means she has been with us for our whole Whangārei journey to date. She has made a huge contribution to our Kaupapa and was a much loved and admired colleague as well as a Navigator to her Dreamers. We wish her all the very best with her next adventures but we are also thrilled to say that we are keeping her connected to IHAD as a Volunteer.

This Term we will also be saying goodbye (just for now) to Navigators Laura Griffin and Louise Engeler who are both heading away on maternity leave. A huge congratulations and best wishes to them both at this wonderful time and we can’t wait to meet the new additions to their whanau.

In the meantime Navigator Mo has been promoted to the Navigators Team Manager role. We all know and love Mo. She has been with us since 2018, originally coming on to be our senior year level Navigator. This new role is designed to enhance and streamline the programme. We are all absolutely stoked with her promotion. Feel free to email Mo if you have any questions about our programme – mo@ihaveadream.org.nz

We have now closed the advertisement off for our new Navigator positions commencing 2021. More on this next newsletter suffice to say we have had a very large number of high calibre applicants which is a great sign for our Organisation and partner schools.

We can’t fail to mention that at the end of Term 3 Joby Hopa (Community Engagement Manager) attended the opening of the new Whare Wananga at Tikipunga High School named ‘Tauira’. Over 300 people turned up for this important early morning celebration. It was a beautiful occasion.

Congratulations to Komiti Māori, our Principal Alec Solomon, Board of Trustees, students, staff community and the Hau Kāinga for this vision for the school and community.

A special acknowledgement must go to the Māori department and our Kapa haka roopuu.
He kaupapa rangatira. Haramai tētahi ahua!
Miharo rawa te manaakitanga!

“Kua tawhiti kē to haerenga mai, kia kore e haere tonu. He nui rawa o mahi, kia kore e mahi tonu.”
“You have come too far not to go further, you have done too much not to do more”
– Ta Himi Henare ( Sir James Henare )

Just a reminder to try and come to the prizegiving ceremonies at your school. We will be there recognising some I Have a Dream achievements over the past year.

Ngā mihi
Chris Twiss – Acting CEO

Dreamer Ariana mastering breakdancing move
Year 7 Boys Whangarei hikoi with Joby



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