Tracey Hook was previously the Acting Chief Financial Officer for Tainui Group Holdings (TGH), the commercial arm of Waikato-Tainui which has an asset base of $1.1 billion.
So when she made it known she was moving to Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to undertake the Tumutahua position there, she often got asked the same question: “why are you leaving TGH?”
“I have fielded this question a lot,” says Tracey.
“Despite being shortlisted for the General Manager of Finance and Strategy at TGH, coming to Te Wānanga o Aotearoa was an opportunity to work in a different sector and through this exposure comes personal growth. TGH is an organisation that makes money and distributes it to the tribe for the betterment of the people and I didn’t want to lose that sense of purpose.”
“Working for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa also has a betterment of the people aspect, and it has the same purposes - which I hold close to my heart.”
Tracey (Te Āti Haunui a Pāpārangi and Ngā Wairiki) said she was happy to leave what she says was “a small footprint” during her 14-year career with TGH before she started her new role with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa last week.
“I want to add value across all components of the business so what I’m doing now is taking a snapshot of how I think things are.”
“I come in with no preconceived ideas so hopefully my fresh eyes will give a different perspective.”
Tracey said the other reasons she was attracted to the wānanga was because she wanted to make an impact in something other than a commercial organisation, looking at other drivers that determine success. She was also interested in working for an organisation that spanned the nation and contributes to the Māori economy.
“I was also really pleased to see the leadership course (Te Paepaeroa) which I am passionate about. There are pockets of leadership courses across the country. You could say there is a gap in the market because there are no significant leadership courses that have a cultural lens across it, if we can do this on a nationwide level then it’s got to be good for the people.”
A mother of three and stepmother of one, Tracey likes to keep fit, spend time with her family. She sees the values Te Wānanga o Aotearoa as being aligned to her own personal values, but on top of that Tracey aims to demonstrate additional values in work and life.
“They are courage, being able to influence people, professionalism, feminism and having fun – I think the fun aspect is important.”
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