As a young boy growing up in Waitara where everyone around him worked in the freezing works or in shearing, Anaru knew he wanted something more, something bigger and better for his community. Growing up with 2 brothers and sisters, his home was a busy one filled with laughter and often mischief (Anaru is after all the middle child).
Anaru describes going to boarding school as a young teenager as having the biggest impact on him being the person that he is today. Leaving his community and everything he had ever known, he was anxious, apprehensive but above all very excited. Being away from home for long periods of time taught him how to get on with other people and the importance of teamwork.
Allan Marshall, his father was the most inspirational person in his life “He was a very hard working guy, he always seemed to have more than one job. He worked in the freezing works, he was a shearer in the off-season and he also worked at a local metal mill. Sometimes he was doing all three jobs at once” Anaru says . Even with the busy work schedule, his father had a lot to do with his community.as part of social organisations like Jaycees and Civil Defence. Anartu says his father also put a lot of energy into young people and sport coaching Rugby League at various levels. Anaru admired his parent’s work ethic as they both worked very hard to put him and his sister through boarding school.
Anaru first became aware of WISE in the early 2000s when he was working for a health provider. Anaru attended some of the early meetings of WISE.
“The broader determinants of health have nothing to do with doctors dispensing medicines or nurses strapping injuries. They are about how we live and provide for our families at home and within our own communities.”
WISE is all about improving people’s health and well-being through employment and improving living conditions for families in our communities through the insulation programmes it deliveres” says Anaru.
When Anaru first started at WISE, the goal set by other community groups was to insulate 10,000 low income homes. It seemed an unachievable goal however by working with other people and organisations in the community, WISE finally achieved that goal in 2015 More than 300 people have been employed during this process.
Anaru was also involved with the Otago School of Medicine research work that was centred on how we as a nation can improve the living conditions of fellow New Zealanders. “To have played a small part in this has been a real privilege”, said Anaru.
Anaru believes that there will always be a place for an organisation like WISE. WISE is a true social enterprise, part commercial, part social but also community owned. By having a commercial side WISE creates employment and can run its own projects to respond to the needs of its community. WISE is not just a business, it’s not government, but it does a little of each under its Charitable Trust structure.
What is next for Anaru Marshall?
Anaru has been working with his Iwi Ngati Maru for a while now as part of the Treaty negotiations team. Now that they getting near the end, he will put more of his time into finalising the claim. “It has also been a privilege for me to be on the Ngati Maru treaty claim. The journey for redress was started many years ago and a lot of people have played a part in the process. Being here at the end to finalise it is very humbling. I am very grateful.” Anaru says.
Anaru’s passion and strong ties to the community has enabled WISE to do the work we do. Anaru will be missed for his hard work, determination and leadership.