Malcolm Robson has been PouTakawaenga with Te Whatu Ora – Te Tai Tokerau since 2021, following a long career with the Department of Corrections and working at management level in mental health and disability services in New Zealand and Australia. He returned to Kaitaia, where he was born and raised, to be closer to whānau, including his mokopuna. “Working as a Takawaenga is something that reaffirms my cultural identity,” says Mal. “It allows me to work with Māori here in Muriwhenua and awhi them.
The whenua of Malcolm’s whānau backs onto Te Oneroa a Tōhe and he has grown up with the responsibility of being a kaitiaki instilled in him. The beach system has significant cultural value for Malcolm as well as its importance as a food source, both freshwater and kaimoana.