Denny Wilson-Takaanini

Denny is a member of Māngere Baptist Church and is nominated by John Catmur.

Working within community organisations governance and iwi trust structures for over thirty years gives you good ears, and hands, and an understanding of the rhythms required to work together in a manner that creates and encourages regular miracles for the organisation and people you are serving as a board member of Mission Council.

This joy of undertaking your best steps alongside of others with different gifts and achieving or strengthening the joint vision – the joint dance, is the blessing of serving in the centre of Gods will each day gives us all. This intergenerational service is an honour.

Denny has an eye for detail and procedure. While these are by no means the only qualities required to support an orderly governance board they are nevertheless critical.

Denny brings the instincts and perspective of a wahine Māori and thus will see things naturally that others may miss. This is a crucial factor in developing Mission Council as a body that represents and brings together under Christ people who are different from one another.  Denny also brings a self-assuredness and the assertiveness to speak up when it matters.

Denny brings a strong instinct for manaakitanga, for looking after people, a very relevant concern for a mission organisation, where global workers can be in much need of support and care.

Get to know Denny:

Kia ora taatou, Contracts, constitutions, policy documents make my heart sing. I love using word pictures to nudge solution journeys. Next steps give me joy.

My first secretariat role was for the Tainui Ngaati Whatua Committee on Waste Management. We stopped a sewage pipeline being built across the Manukau Harbour bed into the Tasman Sea. We worked successfully alongside of engineering professors, environmentalists and local politicians.

My career pathway followed the love of words taking me into the world of journalism, public relations, public health and Maaori policy advocacy. Volunteer responsibilities took me to serve as a trustee for community organisation for Alcohol Healthwatch, Ngaa Ture Kaitiaki ki Waikato Community Law Centre and marae and iwi boards. I served as secretariat for Ngaa Marae Toopu during the Waikato River Settlement negotiations with the Crown.

I’m currently looking after my mum in Karaka who lives in the papakainga of Whataapaka marae. Ours is the first house beside the marae. While also living with my husband on another papakainga across our beautiful harbour on a marae called Puukaki.

I am a trustee of my marae, papakainga and urupa. Whataapaka is also a poukai marae. Understanding what these words mean, and doing your homework if you don’t is part of our joint next steps.

I believe in structural reconciliation and personal reconciliation. I am hopeful that Arotahi will carve out new pathways, new steps with the next generation of mana whenua, iwi and Maaori generally in every Baptist Association rohe and church throughout Aotearoa. As well as other indigenous peoples communities throughout the world.

Indigenous peoples have inter-generational, long associations with specific whenua and other neighbouring indigenous communities. I understand this way of being. I understand the responsibilities this way of being also brings.

This Waiohua – Ngaai Tai ki Taamaki, Ngaati Tamaoho, Ngaati Te Ata way of being in Taamaki Makaurau is useful in service to those living in Auckland. The same way of being for every indigenous community living on their whenua any where in the world is similar – is an experience I understand, and this experience is useful on Mission Council.

Building governance skills and experience in iwi structures on settlement journeys with the Crown brings a different world iwi view point to Mission Council.

Mangere Baptist and my husband are supportive of my offering of service for the next Mission Council term. Paimarire. Mrs Denny Wilson-Takaanini