Partnership Lead of Pacific Homecare and President of the Ōtara Scorpions Rugby League Club, Willie Maea, shows how his years of service to the community have seen positive outcomes for all involved.
Born in Apia, Samoa, Willie was named after American sailor and writer, William Willis after he visited their homeland. The third eldest of nine siblings, Willie and his family migrated to Tokoroa, New Zealand in the 70s, where his father worked in the timber yards. Years on, they moved back to Auckland and found their forever home in Ōtara, which has been the family home for almost 50 years.
Moving to Auckland was a significant time in Willie’s life; here he met his high school sweetheart and now wife.
“I went to local schools and finished my secondary education at Papatoetoe High. That was a highlight as I met my wife there. We have been married for 35 years but were hanging out together for 7 years before that. We have one son who married a local girl and they have 5 boys.”
After years of working in the Courts and Justice Department, Counties Manukau Sports and the New Zealand Institute of Sports, Willie began his role at Pacific Homecare. As the Partnership Lead, he covers all projects that Pacific Homecare is involved in, supports the health and safety aspect of the organisation and assists with human resource matters like staff recruitment.
Willies skills extend far beyond his role at Pacific Homecare. In 2011, he was voted onto the Ōtara Scorpions Rugby League Club Board as Chairman, before shifting to the role of President in 2021.
“I asked a member of the Club how it was going back in 2011 and the rest is history… With the club being around for over 50 years, its core business is its involvement in the Auckland rugby league competition, as well as including netball as its second winter sport and football as its summer sport.”
With the support and expertise of his wife and trusted colleagues, they achieved goals to enhance the club, all of which helped it to flourish over the years. “Commencing 2012, Frank Stowers and I took the lead in the planning of a new building which would be the clubrooms for the Scorpions Club and base for 7 other Sports Clubs. In 2020 The Complex was officially opened.” The laundromat located at the complex was also opened – which is used to maintain the venue and contribute to keeping members’ fees affordable if it meets its forecasted success.
His motivation to keep the community safer has seen him partner with several Health Providers in the provision of COVID-19 events. He has also worked hard to partner with Pacific Homecare in hosting the Fia Ola Elderly Wellness programme, which has seen much success in hosting their annual Market Day events. What drives him to continue this work is, “…my desire to serve in my community and contribute positively where I can. Something we observe our parents doing and it just became my make-up as I grew up in Tokoroa and Ōtara.”
When asked what motivates Willie in this role to support the club as well as the community, he said,
“Seeing positive changes, having an input directly or indirectly with changes in young people and the good choices they make. Rugby League is still a sport I enjoy being a part of as I am a qualified senior coach and can offer advice in that area as well as the front office work that I do. My community needs a hand up in so many areas and my contribution hopefully contributes to a better Ōtara going forward.”
His service to Pacific Homecare, the Ōtara Scorpions Rugby League Club and the community comes down to being proud of working for them all. Serving Pacific for Pacific, in a hands-on way, with a clear vision, is what makes Willie proud to be a part of organisations that help the community. Across all his roles, he sees similarities they share. “Same heart just a different area of service, the current Fia Ola partnership complements both organisations and also serves the heart work I wanted to do with our elderly.”
For those who want to contribute to the community, or need some words of advice, here are some from Willie:
“Find your WHY and give it 100%. Your purpose should only be to “serve” without an agenda. Contact anyone connected to a Club or Sport. Nearly every Club has a Facebook and is easily reachable. Availability above Ability is all you need to be effective in the Community or as a Volunteer. Give it go!”
A wonderful leader and a great member of Pacific Homecare. Thank you Willie for your heart of service!