Mahi aroha is the term that most closely translates to the concept of voluntary work. Mahi aroha is the unpaid activity performed out of love and respect for whanau rather than for financial or personal reward.
Paula Te Kahika, an employee at Arthritis New Zealand, says that volunteering within her community is part of her way of life.
For many Māori, mahi aroha is carried out for the benefit of whanau and iwi, it is often seen as an essential part of fulfilling their cultural responsibility to the wider collective.
Paula is Ngati Kahungunu and outside of her work responsibilities is actively involved with Ngati Kahungunu events and well-being projects with the ethos that when whanau attend activities for the whanau it increases their vibrancy and well-being.
This mindset is carried through to promoting a healthy lifestyle, Paula regularly volunteers her time at Hauora events for Arthritis New Zealand advocating a healthy and active lifestyle for Māori!
Thank you Paula, for all of your hard work in your paid role as well as the extra volunteer work you do for Arthritis New Zealand and your community!