Ka Kite Anō Jessica Meads

It is with a sad and heavy heart that we farewell one of our kaimahi as she leaves the familiar comfort of home in search of wondrous adventures abroad.

Jessica, of Ngāti Pare and Ngāti Raukawa descent and mokopuna of the great All Black Sir Colin ‘Pine Tree’ Meads, joined the then Te Hotu Manawa Māori team in 2012 and has played an integral role in the development and delivery of Toi Tangata projects ever since. Although the majority of our programmes have been rooted in whakapapa and traditional Māori concepts, Jess’ background as a dietitian ensured our programmes were informed by good processes and robust research. In the age of fad diets where fashionable ways of eating have saturated our media, it has always been Jessica who has seen through those distractions and allowed us to concentrate on what is truly important.

So what can we say about Jessica Meads? Jess is a fun loving adventurous kind of gal. Every weekend seems to be an exciting, fun filled escapade of running, climbing, walking or cooking. Jess is super fit and although you might not want her on your seven’s footy team (or any game that requires power or coordination), in any endurance event, Jess is ‘the woman’. She can literally run nonstop for hours and keep up the same pace; she has a huge ticker.

Jess was the only person who could motivate me to go for a run, partly because she is a great person to talk to. Jess has a love of food and is so good at cooking. She was known to run a small catering business on the side, and by business I mean she usually did it for love. For my part, I have enjoyed working with Jess. I recall when we used to deliver education programmes around the country; we were a team, each of us using our personal strengths to deliver a quality programme. However, after class I could always count on Jess to join me on a mission. To go to somewhere new, to climb a hill, to go to a beach, river or waterfall; it was an opportunity for a mini adventure before it got dark.

Jessica is currently in Europe and, true to Jess’ nature, she was last seen traversing mountains in a lake district somewhere in Norway. She will be sorely missed, however, we have a sneaky suspicion that she will be back; hopefully. So Jess, have a fantastic time overseas, make some unforgettable memories, seize every day and live life to the fullest, but more importantly come home safe and sound.

E kō, e heare koe ki tāwahi, rukuhia ki ngā whēako o te ao whānui, horapa kau ana i te mata o te whenua, ka mutu, hoki ora mai koe ki tō ūkaipō. Me taua whakaaro rangatira anō, e kore koe e ngaro, he kakano i ruia ma i Rangiātea.

Nā Mason Ngawhika