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As we celebrate Niue Language Week from 18 to 24 October, two of our staff share how being a proud Niuean influences their work at Counties Manukau Health (CM Health)

“I was born in Niue and came to New Zealand for the first time in 1984. How time flies, I have been with Counties Manukau Health for almost 19 years.

I started in the cleaning department at Middlemore Hospital working in any shift and was then based in old Ward 4 for some time. I was working with and around patients, nurses, doctors and many others from different cultures, and I took in a lot just by observing.

Now I am working in the Mailroom/Reprographics Department in handling and sorting of mail, and also printing, photocopying, laminating and binding books.

I enjoy working in this multicultural environment. I embrace the different cultures and am proud to be a Niuean. Tu ke Mau ti Fakamatalahi ko au koe Niue (Stand Tall and Be Proud, I am a Niuean) is my favourite Niuean phrase. We have a laid back, no pressure culture. The love for families, people, culture and of course food is the connection and contribution I share throughout Counties Manukau Health.

There is a beauty in growing up in an island and I still dream of fresh food and pristine clear sea water.” Manogi Kauie, Team Leader Mail Room at CM Health

Something my mum has constantly instilled in me from a young age is “Fakamalolo ke fakaako ke moua e loto matala” -Strive to learn as much as you can to gain knowledge. Relationships ‘fakafehagaiaga’ are  important to me.

In my Niuean culture having positive relationships in all aspects with family, community and colleagues are paramount. This value is a driver in all that I do in my role professionally and in my personal life.

At home I keep the language alive by teaching Niue songs to my children. I also share my culture through songs and dance at my children’s schools.

It’s such a privilege working for CM Health. I’ve been able to contribute to my own community where I was born, raised and currently reside.

I have a number of family members that have worked here in the past and currently. So CM Health is special to me. 

Whilst studying a degree in Public Health I was also a recipient of the South Auckland Health Foundation Scholarship for two years (CM Health funded scholarship) so it’s great to give back to the organisation and work in an area that I’m passionate about.

After graduating I’d worked for a number of years in IT, Health Promotion (Breast screening) and Health Informatics.

Now working as a Project Manager in an enabler role, I have the opportunity to question and understand why current processes exist and use projects to achieve improvement and  cost savings/avoidance.

I really enjoy working with people! This role gets me out and about meeting staff and patients of all walks of life around our organisation. Jenna Jacobsen Toeono, Project Manager Ko Awatea

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