Jobs at DOC: Huia Lloyd – Pou Tairangahau

Department of Conservation —  14/06/2013

Come behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Today we profile Huia Lloyd, Pou Tairangahau in Rotorua.

Huia fishing on Lake Tarawera.

On lake Tarawera. Unsuccessful day fishing, successful day swimming

At work

Some things I do in my job include… driving, driving and more driving. But mostly, meeting iwi and having the privilege of hearing their aspirations for their rohe, then facilitating groups and other stakeholders to support these aspirations. It’s exciting and feels limitless and right.

The best bit about my job is… being inspired by iwi and their moemoea (aspirations) and supporting them to ‘make it work!’ (cue, click fingers)

The loveliest DOC moment I’ve had so far is… having a very tasty curry cooked by our Conservator, Jan Hania for a Conservancy and Area Office end-of-week get together. It was a great relaxing way to meet DOC staff and their families. Plus the curry was delicious—Jan is not a bad cook!

The DOC (or previous DOC) employee that inspires or enthuses me most is… my husband’s late Uncle Hemi Kingi. He was the Pou Kura Taiao based in Turangi. Personally he was a great uncle, great guitar player, cooked a mean boil-up, always had time for kids and just a favourite cuddly uncle. Professionally he was exactly that: professional, respectful, a facilitator, and a great big picture person—with a little bit of cheeky to boot.

Huia's partner Tama and baby.

Huia’s favourite photo

On a personal note…

Most people don’t know that I… have an exciting bucket list. One of my items was to go to a Prince concert and this became a reality last year (2012). The night before flying to Sydney I checked my passport properly. It was expired. Panic. The following morning it was a mad drive to Auckland Internal Affairs, crying at the counter, getting my passport done in three hours. They felt so sorry for me they charged the cheapest rate, I had a mad drive across Auckland to the airport, ran through the international airport, got lost, my passport wasn’t recognised because it was too new, checked-in, Air New Zealand staff laughed, got upgraded to business class, then onboard the plane the Air New Zealand staff popped champagne for the crazy morning it was. Moral of the story: make a bucket list. It’s a whole lot of heart pumping fun!

Most people also don’t know that our whānau travels every couple of years to meet with other indigenous communities to basically hang out. There is a large amount of korero to learn, exchange, connection, and support of local projects. But for my husband and I it is also about our kids connecting with whanaunga in other nations and understanding common values and diversity. Our last trip was to New Mexico with our (then) four month old daughter. Lots of people wanted to marry her off, but we managed to bring her back home to Aotearoa!

Huia's whanau at a wedding on a beach.

Te whānau

The song that always cheers me up is… everything by Mary J Blige. Loud and in the car. Its the only way to sing it…

My stomping ground is… Mt Maunganui. Growing up on the beach. Idyllic. Also Hokianga and Kaikohe. That’s where my whānau are from.

My best ever holiday was… Rarotonga 2003. We got married there and celebrated with friends and whānau. A tropical island holiday with good friends and loved ones is pretty hard to beat.

Huia with others as Maori ambassadors to New Mexico in 2006.

Maori ambassadors to New Mexico 2006

My greatest sporting moment was when… I have two.

1. Have faith in the All Blacks. I went for the ballot of Rugby World Cup Bronze Final tickets because I believed they would not win and that it would be my first time watching the All Blacks live. My husband just shook his head when I got the tickets and told him why I got them. We went anyway with our oldest son and it was a great atmosphere. Epic fail on my part, but good fun in the end. BTW—we were cheering for Wales.

2. When I won a bronze medal for discus at the Colgate games when I was 10. I was this skinny little thing, and came close to silver behind two rather large girls. The rest of the competitors were dumbstruck that I got third and so close to the first two. This enlightened me that technique is just as important as brute strength.

In my spare time I… am a chef, doctor, facilitator, taxi driver, cleaner, reader, swimming coach, mediator, chief cuddler, and Iron Māori convert. With four kids, spare time is whānau time. Its crazy fun and I’d have it no other way.

Huia and her partner at the Prince concert.

Bucket list tick – at the Prince Concert with Tama

My secret indulgence is… shoes.

My favourite quote is… “Ka pai Honey” (from our two year old, Te Uranga, who uses it as a statement or question). It’s simple, heartfelt and affirming.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is… “Everything will be OK. And if not, I will tell you all about it.” Said to me by my husband as we drove to Auckland to sort out my passport on the way to the Prince concert.

In work and life I am motivated by… a true belief that the glass is always half full. We just need to adjust our glasses to see that.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is… more of a question. ‘What sort of legacy do you want to leave your descendants?’ Make your conservation decision based on that.