Get to know our Kaiwhakahaere, Rion and discover what drives our Social Good team. This is a blog series to get to know our team a little more so you know who you’re working with ✨💚

Kia ora Rion, can you please introduce yourself:

Ko Rion Lawrence tōku ingoa, ko Ngāti Maniapoto, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Te Aitanga a Hauiti ōku iwi.

I was born in Australia, grew up in New Plymouth & Hamilton and am now blessed to be living along the beautiful coast of Pāpāmoa with my husband and our four tamariki.

What’s your background?

I have a degree in E-Commerce majoring in Strategic Management from Waikato University. In the early stages of my career I worked in I.T as a project coordinator and then as a project manager, I was responsible for supporting the software development of our clients and training kaimahi on how to use them.

The focus for my career shifted as I started a family, and I found myself looking for something different that would allow me flexibility to mahi and be a māmā. In 2016 I (along with my siblings) began the journey of business ownership, we purchased a large afterschool care & holiday programme company which brought our whānau to Pāpāmoa. The company took me on a huge journey of self discovery, I had to learn very quickly to adapt to a new industry, and new pressures that come with childcare & protection and business ownership.

I am passionate about holistic health. In 2017 my husband started a kombucha company, which has led our family on another transformative journey surrounding gut health, natural homemade remedies, herbal medicines, mental health, healing through traumas, which includes the integration of wairua, mirimiri & rongoa. 

Currently I am a Project Manager for two kaupapa Māori organisations. Social Good, we promote the use of social media for good kaupapa & Te Hapori Matihiko, a kaupapa dedicated to celebrating whānau Māori in digitech. 

I am proud to be a part of the mahi that we do in both organisations. I work with an amazing team of wāhine toa, and look forward to the mahi that we do each day for our people.

What gets you up each day?

My whānau: My children are my taonga, they make my husband and I proud, I love being involved in all aspects of their lives, and I absolutely love that I get to nourish them as they evolve into their highest selves.

My mahi / Our team: I get to work remotely from my home and interweave whānau life into mahi life. I really couldn’t imagine doing this mahi without the amazing support, and energy these wāhine bring to me.

What’s your superpower?

I’m gonna say passion & good energy. It is easy, because I genuinely love and believe in the mahi that we do, so the passion comes naturally. But I also feel honoured to be a part of an ever-evolving kaupapa, and in the journey that life has planned for me. It’s my privilege to be able to acknowledge that daily by continuing to add to the good vibes of our team.

What are you most proud of?

In 2016, 6 months after we purchased the childcare business, my dad passed away in an unexpected vehicle accident, he was meant to mentor us in business ownership and operations. That moment was a huge catalyst for my life. I’m the most proud of how I adapted, learnt, grew, developed and shaped myself since. I am so open to what lessons are in store for me, and I just know that I am always in the right place at the right time.