Honesty, Respect, Compassion,
Courage and Service
Lui Poe is a New Zealand-born Samoan from the villages of Safotu and Faleula. His family followed the migration of many Pacific families in the 1970s, arriving in Grey Lynn before moving to Māngere. However, for most of Lui’s life, he lived in Glenfield.
The majority of his work over the years has been focused on service delivery, helping to support children and families, in particular, those who suffered from abuse. While he always loved assisting families in a direct manner, he was also conscious that he was ultimately managing symptoms of larger problems. “The work of Healthy Families is a real opportunity to influence the systems that hold some of today’s and tomorrow’s problems in place,” he adds.
Lui lost his Mum at a young age, leaving his father to care for four children under the age of 10. With the support of their wider family and local community, his Dad was able to provide a really loving and stable life. His father’s selflessness and the way wider family surrounded them, helped Lui to see the values of his Samoan heritage lived out. “It also serves as a constant reminder of the responsibility I have to my family and community to provide the same support.”
“My role is the Chief of Operations. A large part of my role is to support, guide and work alongside our Healthy Families South Auckland staff to challenge and influence stakeholders and the system, and to change in ways that should provide better outcomes for our communities.”
What is your vision for health and wellbeing in South Auckland?
“My father always encouraged me to be happy in life. My vision for South Auckland is that all people are physically, mentally and spiritually happy.”
What is one funny/quirky/interesting thing that no-one knows about you?
“Lead Systems Innovator Tapu Vaea and I used to be a singing duet together. Check Spotify for some of our more famous songs like Ebony and Ebony (disclaimer: our music may not exist so don’t be surprised if you can’t find any music…it might just be a technical glitch).”
What is your superpower?
“As well as being able to eat pork 100 ways, I have a deep-seated drive to work to ensure social equity in our society.”
Who is your favourite superhero and why?
“The Hulk. I grew up watching Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk back when there was no Shortland Street, just legitimate real life TV programmes like The Incredible Hulk series. No other super hero could make ripped jean shorts look trendy.”