Erana Severne

Tūwharetoa, Ngāpuhi

Senior Programme Manager - Waikato DGB

Collective Intelligence member Erana Severne was on a plane home to Hamilton when she happened to sit beside author Margie Thomson. That chance meeting lead to Erana’s inspiring career journey featuring in Margie’s new epic publication ‘Womankind’ (Penguin, 2019). Erana runs public health programmes aimed at dramatically improving the lives of her wider whānau and community. Her focus and dedication to effecting change is summed up in a favourite whakataukī (proverb), “Koi te mata punenga, maiangi te mata pūihoiho.” (imagine the invisible, realise the potential, defy the impossible).

When asked what her motivation is for striving to nurture leadership in others she says, “I have been very lucky. I was exposed to many strong Māori leaders – my mother, aunties and others, so I saw how leadership could grow and I saw that how out of adversity could come good things with good leadership.

I always wanted to make a difference but when I was younger (at high school), I never wanted to be in the leadership roles I was thrown into. 2018 was pivotal point for me. I did a Māori leadership course where it was pointed out that it was my responsibility to be a leader. They reframed it for me. I realised that being a leader is not just about being a manager (which is not my vibe) but that ‘leaders grow leaders’. It’s all about growing and developing others, bringing them along with you.”

A Collective Intelligence scholarship recipient, Erana is quick to point out that her time with us has, “Given me the ability to stretch myself and taught me how to connect and work with others who don’t think like me. It has helped me challenge the way I think, and the way others think, in a healthy and respectful way.”

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