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Toi Pakihi: Te Waka Haumaru Tuatahi, Jamie Hawke

Jamie Hawke is a retired Navy officer with many years of experience in ship emergencies, emergency management, and conducting Operational Audits of NZ Navy ships. He has embarked on a new journey as an owner of his own company. Te Waka Haumaru Tuatahi, is a one-person band Health & Safety Consultancy providing support to the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Group, including Whai Rawa. We had a korero with Jamie to learn more about the mahi he has done and is now doing.

A mokopuna of Wirihana Takanini Hawke, Jamie was raised on the North Shore but has recently returned to his roots and settled on Kitemoana Street.

With an illustrious naval career that spanned over 35 years and took him to various corners of the globe, including the Arabian Gulf (Southern Afghanistan) and Africa and a remarkable two-year placement in Samoa, Jamie has amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge. During his time in Samoa, he was privileged to receive a matai title, a testament to his dedication and service.

Drawing upon his military background and a stint as a health and safety workplace trainer at Safety 'n Action, Jamie brings a strong foundation of expertise in systems, processes and how to help people understand health and safety practices. Jamie believes that health and safety should be people-focused and easy to understand, and he is applying a Te Ao Maori lens to his approach to mahi.

“When I look at our (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei) mātāpono, manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, rangatiratanga, we’ve been doing this for hundreds of years; there’s just a pakeha word for it in 2023– Health and Safety. Our values add up to caring for our people and our manuhiri and keeping them safe by demonstrating good leadership. We now need to add a paper trail to support our actions.”

Jamie has been assisting Whai Rawa with a review of our contractor health and safety assurance and contracts with the second phase of this project still underway. Jamie will also help with a risk assessment for facilities in Eastcliffe. Jamie has also conducted audits of Orākei Marae where he has seen exceptional growth in the health and safety space. And he has also completed work for Whai Māia, assisting with health and safety, and providing consultancy advice.

Jamie shares that a common theme in most businesses and organisations he has worked with involves the need to work closer with kaimahi and not via email but Kanohi ki te Kanohi.

 “Kaimahi are critical to good health and safety. Workplaces need to be listening to them, increasing their knowledge and getting their buy-in because it can be costly if they don’t.” 

As he transitioned from full-time employment to the autonomy of owning his own company, Jamie says he relishes the flexibility of being his boss. This allows him to manage his workload and provides more time to reconnect with his whānau in Orākei.

“The need to slow down was a key motivator for starting my own business at age 65, and I could never slow down working for someone else.”

An avid student of the Reo Programme delivered by Whai Māia, Jamie is on a Reo Māori reclamation journey and is excited about commencing Takiura in the coming year.

“I’m enjoying reconnecting with the culture and learning about our history. There’s been a gap that has been missing, and I can’t wait to start the total immersion course”.

Jamie’s story exemplifies the journey of a dedicated individual who, after a remarkable military career, has found a niche in applying mātāpono to health and safety. It proves that it is never too late to start your own business.