It is with an extremely heavy heart that I write this tribute to Raewyn whose passing can only be described in the physical as untimely. I totally tautoko what has already been said about her. Raewyn was a good friend and colleague, an amazing person, a rare taonga in the public sector, a master weaver of people, very kind, generous with her time, knowledge, and networks, and was always willing to help anyone who asked for her help. No matter how busy she was she would always be there for anyone who needed her. Raewyn knew everyone and contributed to so many important kaupapa.
Raewyn was a key player in developing Te Rito, the Family Violence Prevention Strategy. Her work with others laid the foundation for the strategy and most of her networks built its walls. I will always have fond memories of the time we had basically only half a day to pull together two budget bids. We got together outside and within half hour had the two bids sorted. Raewyn downloaded the information from her brain, puffing away there, while I scribbled furiously trying to make sure to capture everything. We often laughed about this as we were successful in getting both putea, one of which led to the establishment of the family violence clearinghouse. Raewyn also encouraged my partner Te Kani and I to take part in the Commonwealth emerging leaders programme, which was an awesome experience for both of us.
Raewyn always supported me to be brave in the policy work that I did, she was empowering, and really helped me through some very challenging times at work. Raewyn was a true friend. She touched the hearts of many, would help anyone and everyone, always saw the bright side of everything, was truly innovative in her approach to work, and walked the talk with integrity. I cannot speak highly enough about her and am so very humbled and privileged to have known and worked with her. Raewyn will be dearly missed by Te Kani, my baby sister and I, as well as many many others. Her passing has left a big hole in this world as well as many heavy hearts. The world needs more people like her.
Raewyn, he tino pouri toku ngakau mo to haerenga. Thank you for always being there for me, for being such a guiding light, for your awesome mahi and contribution to this world, and for your calmness, aroha and positive outlook on life. You are a true role model for us all. We will miss you dearly.
Moe mai oku hoa i roto i te ringa kaha o te atua. Haere atu ra ki te tua o te arai.
Kristen, Te Kani and Justine