Henare O’Keefe

For over 30 years Henare has proactively worked against violence through hands-on practical initiatives to build communities, especially in disadvantaged areas.  His work has a focus on combating family violence, mentoring youth, assisting in the reintegration of prisoners and finding ways and means of empowering our people to be self-sufficient.   A hikoi of over 4000 people marching against violence in the local community was the start of many community-generated projects including the ‘Flaxmere Heroes’ Calendar, Tunutunu, a mobile BBQ, the Flaxmere Community Garden, Te Aranga Marae, an innovative social housing project, an onsite horticulture course, MAC Sports’ Association (alcohol free) club, and the Flaxmere Community Duathlon. 

In 2011 he was awarded the Queen's Service Medal and in 2012 he was named New Zealand’s Community Hero of the Year for his work with at-risk youth and family violence protection. Henare is presently working as a Councillor on the Hastings District Council.



True Servants of the People

The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige and position. If you can demand service from others you’ve truly arrived. In our self-serving culture with it’s me- first mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept. If you only serve when it’s convenient for you, you’re not a true servant. Real servants do what’s needed, even when it’s inconvenient. No task be it great or small is beneath you if you  have a servants heart. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant.


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