He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.
What is the most important thing in the world? The people.
Chris Webber was raised in Lower Hutt, Wellington and has strong ties to the Kapiti Coast. He married into Te Arawa and has lived in Rotorua for the past 25 years with his wife and four children.
Chris has a strong background in environmental health and journalism - having written about Māori inequalities, injustices and improving the situation. He did a MPhil thesis on Māori issues for disaster recovery and is currently working on a PhD about safe homes for Māori.
His career led from journalism to education (training Māori journalists and being a Regional Māori Education Advisor for TEC) before moving into public health as the first recruited Māori Health Protection Officer.
Over the past 10 years, Chris has contracted around Māori workforce development and environmental health issues across Aotearoa - most recently supporting Rotorua Lakes Council capacity for its new Te Arawa Partnership. Chris has had various leadership positions within local and regional communities and is a current director of the national Māori health workforce organisation, Te Rau Matatini.
Besides being an avid participant in his varied work spaces, Chris finds drive and purpose from a number of philosophical statements. Firstly, the whakatauaki, 'he aha te mea nui o te ao, he tāngata he tāngata he tāngata', which supports his work helping people be well and attending to systems that enables this. It further connects with Chris’s intentionality to notice the gaps that exist and being available for the opportunities to close these gaps.
Having a strong value base, being committed to what they mean and never giving up also supports Chris to actualise his aspirations.
In terms of leadership, Chris raises the term ‘followship’ where the act of people following is just as important - posing the question, ‘who is following?’ However, the key aspect of leadership for Chris is to be a good leader for his whānau and a good example for his children. He has been a leader in the Latter-Day Saints Church (Mormon) for the past 15 years, where building eternal whānau is key.