Member Q&A: Claudia Maaka


Claudia Maaka, Clinical Alcohol & Drug Youth Specialist, Ngati Porou Hauora, East Coast

Claudia MaakaWhat were you initial thoughts on signing up to do this Q&A?

I was excited as having such an opportunity to share my opinions and views from a rural perspective.

What is your job and what do you do on an average day at work? 

I work as a Clinical Alcohol & Drug Youth Specialist for Ngati Porou Hauora. I do counselling, education, programs and detox/rehabilitation. I have held this position for ten years and in all honesty I love working for the Hauora.

My average day is never the same but a typical day would consist of me leaving home at 8am, travelling to our office which is 10ks away and hopefully avoiding our East Coast traffic jams which consist of cows, sheep and farm dogs. I have my morning coffee with my colleagues then grab my work car and make my way out to the schools, home visits and clients.

As an example and to show how complex my mahi is, I can start the day off counselling, then deliver group education to teens and have a fishing program in the afternoon. I enjoy my job and love working for my communities.

What was a highlight at work for you in the past month?

Coordinating an East Coast Youth & Child Agency Netwokring forum. We had over twenty service providers in one room to discuss how we can work better together for our young people.

What would you say is the hardest thing about your job?

The travel distances and the roads which I travel on are not the best.

What brought you to join the PSA and the PSA Youth network?

I have recently been selected as our staff PSA rep and I wanted to become more pro-active and a stronger advocate for my colleagues.

Name one (or more) things you like about the PSA Youth network

I feel so much support and feel like our rural workers have a voice at these hui.

What is your vision for youth in the PSA?

To become pro-active in their union rights and to gain more understanding and knowledge about PSA union.

An idea I have had to run a psa union day is have a “Horse Sports” day which is to encourage and support current members plus gain new members. Horses are a part of who we are as Coasties and just about every whanau own one.

How about when you aren't at work?  What else do you like to do with your time?

I love fishing and thrashing my four wheeler along the beach. I also enjoy spending time with my Husband and exercising.

What are your three favourite foods?

Hangi, Kina on toast and Paua on Rewana bread haha

What are your three loves?

God, Husband and Family

What are your three pet peeves?

My favourite would have to be lambs because not only are the cute but their wool can provide you clothes, their tails are the perfect when cooked on an open fire and they are the yummiest slow roasted with all the trimmings lol.

What advice would you give your 18 year old self?

The world is your oyster

Anything else you would like to add?

There needs to be a PSA Youth Networking hui on the Coast, crayfish would be the main meal. Naaku Noa