Awerangi Tamihere nominated for Women of Influence award

Awerangi Tamihere at the Waiparaira Trust offices.
Mahvash Ali

Awerangi Tamihere at the Waiparaira Trust offices.

A woman's intuition is hardly wrong.

And it is her sharp instinct that helped Awerangi Tamihere find her way to the top through a career spanning over three decades. 

The 50-year-old west Aucklander is one of the finalists for the Women of Influence awards for 2016. She has been nominated for her services to the community. 

Awerangi Tamihere lives in Te Atatu but grew up in Feilding.

Awerangi Tamihere lives in Te Atatu but grew up in Feilding.

Tamihere is director of strategy, innovation and design at Urban Maori Authority Te Whanau o Waipareira.

The Te Atatu resident grew up in Feilding and says she stood on the shoulders of giants to build a career out of community development. 

"We lived pretty much right next to the local marae. It was my great-great grandfather's marae. We grew up in a strong Maori environment. I lived in a house where we took a lot of pride in education and we believed in making the world a better place. We took a world view of things. Working for the community was a natural progression for me. You may call it a career, but for me it is as much personal as it is professional." 

Tamihere says being a good a leader is all about finding the right balance.

"It is about putting one step in front of the other, until you find success - whatever that might be for you."

The mother-of-two quotes the example of a woman she mentored, who is now in a senior leadership role. 

"This lady was going through a tough time. There were some challenges at home. Her body language, her words and her clothes said it all. But I could see she was making an effort, to be present and make the most of what she had."

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The story, Tamihere says, has lessons for all female leaders.  

"If you give your something all that you've got, and you may think it's not a lot, then you are still ahead of the game."

Being married to politcian John Tamihere has been amazing, however, there have also been some trying times she says. 

"When we lived in Wellington, we were always being scrutinised by the media. That's when I learnt the importance of my inner sanctum. Keeping a circle of people who keep me grounded and in touch with what is real."

So is there anything that upsets her?

"Nothing phases me anymore. I have seen it all and my glass always half full. Although I do have one pet peeve - I hate it when John squeezes the toothpaste from the middle of the tube. Drives me mad."    



 - Stuff

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