Aaron Hāpuku (he/him)

Lecturer. Te Kaupeka Oranga - Faculty of Health at the University of Canterbury

"My love of community and my personal values eventually led me to a pathway of public health and Māori health promotion."

A brief mihi about yourself

Ko Kahuranki te maunga
Ko Tukituki te awa
Ko Poukawa te waiū
Ko Ngāi Te Rangikoianake te hapū
Ko Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga te iwi 
Ko Aaron Hāpuku tōku ingoa 

Kia ora. I was raised here in Ōtautahi in the Aranui community. I am of Ngāti Kahungunu descent from the Heretaunga (Hawkes Bay) region and proud to live here in the rohe of Ngāi Tūāhuriri. I am passionate about our local Māori and diverse communities. I am the proud papa to four beautiful tamariki, and love being a part of our local mau taiaha, kapa haka and Māori performing arts community.     

Growing up what did you want to do for a job and did you ever see yourself working at Te Whatu Ora?

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I knew from a young age that I wanted to work with people. My love of community and my personal values eventually led me to a pathway of public health and Māori health promotion. Te Whatu Ora (Te Mana Ora - Community & Public Health) was a perfect fit.  

What was your journey of getting to work at Te Whatu Ora?

A number of years working for voluntary organisations that were passionate about Māori youth and an interest in kapa haka, performing arts and te reo Māori. As I learned about the values of hauora Māori and health promotion, they aligned perfectly with my own worldviews, and my aspirations of whānau wellbeing for myself and my young family. It made the journey an easy one to pursue.

What attracted you to work at Te Whatu Ora?

Good people who were passionate about the work they were doing in local communities to address issues of health equity.  

What’s something you love about being part of Te Whatu Ora?

While I no longer work at the Te Whatu Ora, Community & Public Health were instrumental in helping me develop my skills and knowledge, and were incredibly supportive while I was studying part-time. What I take away from my time with Te Whatu Ora is a number of ongoing relationships and connections that are important to my role at the University of Canterbury. As a health promoter for 8 years, I now have the privilege of using all the experience and knowledge I gained to help grow the next generation of health promoters and health science graduates that will continue this mahi in all the places where our local whānau and communities thrive.  

What do you love about living and working in Ōtautahi?

As a proud Ngāti Kahungunu man living here in Te Waipounamu, this is where my tamariki were born and are being raised. Ōtautahi is home for us.

What advice do you have for someone contemplating a career at Te Whatu Ora?

There are so many varied and interesting roles that people have within Te Whatu Ora. It is the perfect place to bring your passion and your talent. You can build a career and make a huge difference in the lives of everyday people.  

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