Wairarapa Sports Volunteer of the year stands for Health Board
Wairarapa Sports Volunteer of the year stands for Wairarapa District Health Board
Community leader, governance expert and Wairarapa Sports Volunteer of the Year, Paora Ammunson is standing for election to the Wairarapa District Health Board. Back in 1991 he was one of thousands who linked arms around Masterton and Greytown hospitals.
“More than 20 years may have passed since our Hands around the Hospital protest but safeguarding and boosting local health services is still critical to Wairarapa’s future,” says Paora.
“From Pirinoa in the south to Eketahuna in the north, our elders, families and children deserve the very best health services.”
Paora has indepth understanding of the valley’s health needs: helping set up and lead the Wairarapa Primary Health Organisation from its inception – one of the country’s most successful – he served as its inaugural chairman for several years.
“Health outside the hospital is the key to improving the health for all our people, focusing on those who need hospital care and reducing costs. I will be a strong champion for primary health care, health promotion through sport and Māori health”
Involved in a range of community and sporting organisations, this year Paora was appointed Chairman of the Wairarapa Bush Rugby Union. He has chaired Greytown junior rugby for several years and coaches the current Under 12 side. Paora has served on the Papawai Marae Committee since the eighties, has twice led the marae’s kapa haka group to regional competitions and was the inaugural chairman of Kahungunu ki Wairarapa. He’s one of the locals behind Wairarapa’s inaugural Kokomai Art Festival and is also on the board of Greytown’s Cobblestones Trust.
With extensive governance and management experience Paora was a national Project Manager during the Rugby World Cup.. He served two terms on the National Lotteries Marae Heritage Committee and is a member of Wellington’s Regional Economic Strategy Committee. Paora is a director on the Kahungunu Asset Holding Company and Wairarapa Moana Incorporation boards: companies controlling combined assets worth nearly $500 million.
“I have a strong track record of turning around organisations that have been financially troubled and setting them back on track to grow.”
Paora is linked to Wairarapa on both his Māori and Pakeha whakapapa. On his Māori side, Paora hails from Papawai Marae in Greytown, Aohanga Marae in northern Wairarapa and Hurunuiorangi Marae in Gladstone. On his Pakeha side Paora’s Norwegian ancestors were among the Scandinavian settlers who settled in Mauriceville in the late 1800s.
“I love this place, I’ve served Wairarapa people throughout my life and would be honoured to help make sure they get the very best health services.”
He has four children, is married to Christine and lives alongside Papawai Marae just outside Greytown.