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Thursday 8 April 2021

New City Missioner Formally Welcomed

On April 8 2021, the Mission formally welcomed the 10th Auckland City Missioner, Helen Robinson, into her role. A powhiri was held at St Matthews-in-the-City to install Helen as the city’s new Missioner.

Board Chair Ms Pidgeon is delighted that Helen is now in the role of Missioner and CE. She notes the Board was clear they needed to find a successor to the outgoing Missioner Chris Farrelly who would continue with the transformational work underway in the key social areas of homelessness, food insecurity, addiction and affordable health-care. She says Ms Robinson has all of the qualities needed to ensure the Mission keeps working towards a better Aotearoa.

“Helen will be familiar to the Mission whānau whānui as she has been an employee for almost a decade and was most recently the organisation’s General Manager of Social Services. Helen brings to the role a deep knowledge of the Mission’s work and an even deeper commitment to a more equitable world, cemented by a strong background in social services.”

Newly appointed Auckland City Missioner (post begins 2 April 2021) Helen Robinson has a wealth of experience in social services and a deep commitment to a more equitable Aotearoa.

Helen’s adult life has been devoted to addressing our country’s social issues. Starting as a youth worker and social worker, she subsequently gained a broad range of experience primarily in a community development context. She has worked with some of New Zealand’s most excluded and marginalized people in a range of organisations and roles.

Helen has held the position of General Manager of Social Services at the Auckland City Mission for the last four years. In that time, she has overseen the development of services to include a Housing First programme and the opening of two transitional housing programmes including one specifically for women. Helen has led significant improvements in all services to provide a dignified experience for people needing the Mission’s support.

For the four years prior to becoming General Manager of Social Services, Helen held leadership roles in the Mission’s homelessness and food security teams. Before joining the Mission, Helen held key roles in not-for-profit youth development organisations including The Logos Project and Challenge 2000. Prior to that, Helen gained experience with a range of social agencies in the UK and Aotearoa.

Alongside her practical work, Helen has released research into the measurement and experience of food insecurity in New Zealand. Her commitment to resolving food insecurity also includes taking a lead role in the creation and implementation of Kore Hiakai, the national collective working towards a food secure Aotearoa. Helen is currently co-chair of Kore Hiakai.

A Victoria University graduate in law and social policy, Helen recently (2019) completed a Masters of Social and Community Leadership.

Helen also has a deep understanding of the social issues facing Aotearoa and a commitment to justice and equity in our country.