Published Thursday 27 Apr 2023

Jontel is the Change and Relationship Facilitator for the Kāpiti Community Health Network that helps strengthen connections with local communities.


Why did you chose a job as Change and Relationship Facilitator?

“I’m passionate about supporting changes that lead to better hauora outcomes in the community. I love working with people, hearing their stories and helping to co-create initiatives that aim to improve top-of-mind issues from the community perspective. It’s incredibly humbling meeting so many amazing people in our rohe who are influencing and making positive changes. I have the privilege of working with members of Te Ātiawa ki Whākarongotai and Te Whatu Ora. I learn so much from them and love the whanaungatanga (connection) fostered in these relationships.”


Tell us about your job/role?   

“My role is fantastic. I build relationships with members of Kāpiti community and organisations to understand their mahi and find ways we can work together to have maximum impact. I also get to co-create projects and initiatives that align with iwi mana whenua and community aspirations which I find incredibly rewarding!”


What do you love most about your job?

“I love the variety of people I work with and the capacity to develop projects across a range of topics. This is the first role I’ve had in which I can pursue relationships across sectors to identify ways of working together to achieve Pae Ora for whānau/community.”


What's your biggest achievement?

“I recently completed a Kaupapa Māori project for my Master of Health; Oranga Niho Kāpiti - Oral Health in Kāpiti focussing on tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau. The findings from this project are the basis for whānau-centred recommendations for initiatives and changes that aim to improve access to oral health services and improve oral health outcomes in Kāpiti. The fun part is now following up with the recommendations and developing initiatives.”


What three words best describe you?

“Passionate, empathetic, driven.”


How do you relax in your spare time?

“I love anything involving water. I’m a dive master, I love sailing, paddle boarding, dragon boating, and morning swims in Te awa Waikanae. I’m a singer and songwriter, and I love sound healing as a modality of deep reflection and connection to my higher purpose. In the last few years I’ve become fascinated with Greek mythology, and I can see the parallels with Māori mythology. All these pūrakau/stories give us insights into human behaviour which can help us understand and learn from our experiences.”


Tell us about where you’re from

“Ko Ngātiwai, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Whakamarurangi, Ngāti Kōata, me Ngāti Tahinga ngā iwi.”

“My whānau on my mum’s side is from Te Tai Tokerau and from Waikato on my dad’s side.

“I grew up in Tāmaki Makaurau and the USA, and spent most of my life travelling. I made the move back to Aotearoa in 2013 where I’m learning about my Māori whakapapa.”


What are you most excited about in the new health reform?

“I’m excited to see holistic, community-level changes that are relevant to whānau in each locality. I look forward to seeing the whānau voice elevated resulting in changes that are meaningful, sustainable, and long overdue.”


What’s your next challenge?

“My next challenge is to learn Te Reo Māori to fluency.”


The Kāpiti Community Health Network (KCHN) is a partnership between Te Whatu Ora – Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley, Te Ātiawa ki Whākarongotai and Tū Ora Compass Health.

The network aims to build and support a strong and integrated network of providers in Kāpiti who enable an equitable and sustainable health system for Kāpiti people with a particular focus on Māori.