Christmas address from the Chair Dec 23



2023 Christmas speech from our Chair, Dean Riddell

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Nau mai Haere mai!

A brief few words from me before we start dinner.

Firstly I would like to welcome Te Hopai whānau whānui me hoa - our extended family and friends. Susan and Kate representing Te Whatu Ora. Our team of support professionals such as Jonathan, Dave, Andrea, Rowena. All of you play a key role in our success - we are truly grateful.

Former board members - Lorraine & Euan - you have each stamped your own mark on the board and have contributed to what Te Hopai is today.

This year I again had the pleasure of joining our large group of volunteers at their thank you drinks last week. In my speech to them I said, “Te Hopai is grateful for their energy, enthusiasm, dedication and diversity.”

They are certainly diverse - the answers to the “what do you do?” are always enlightening and enchanting. Their passion for Te Hopai and the joy they get from being able to contribute is infectious.

My fellow Board members - we have a great board. Diverse. Strong. Bold. Forward thinking. And above all – Caring.

This is a board who is not afraid to:

  • tackle the big issues,
  • face challenges,
  • innovate,
  • back themselves.

I am truly grateful to be Chair for such a great team.

I will finish with the true champions of Te Hopai - Pakize and her team. These few words sum up Pakize and her team of champions:

  • Outstanding,
  • Management from the heart,
  • Caring and skilled.

About a month ago I was thinking my Christmas pre-dinner chat would not mention COVID. But then along came the so named fifth wave providing us with another COVID situation to deal with - this time including Pakize herself as a first time participant.

A reminder that COVID continues to feature in all of our lives - age care continues to be at the high risk end. Pakize and her team lead the pack with operating techniques able to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable community. A star team lead by its inspirational captain and Jill her fantastic 2IC [second in charge].

Also here this evening the newest member of the management team - welcome Amy. Amy has only been with us a short time but she hit the road running and is making positive impacts already.

Our Kaumatua is not with us tonight - Bill would usually provide a blessing for our meal. In Bill’s absence I will give it a crack.

Kia taku whānau, me ngā hoa, me te kai,
kia ora.
Āke ake ake – āmene.

For our family, friends and food,
we say thank you.
Forever and ever – amen.