Lynley Cvitanovic

Researcher and Evaluator

Born and brought up in Whanganui, I am fifth generation Pākehā of Croatian, English and Irish descent. The first of my forebears arrived in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, as New Zealand Company assisted immigrants, in 1840 and 1841. They were farm labourers from Wiltshire and Somerset in the south of England. During the 1850s some moved north to Whanganui and to the Rangitīkei. My great-great-grandmother, Hannah Whale was born in Parewānui in 1857. Most recently my paternal grandfather arrived in Whanganui, from the tiny fishing village of Drašnice in southern Croatia, around 1926.

Over the past four decades I have had the opportunity to take part in, and learn from, a wide range of Treaty inspired decolonisation and social justice initiatives. My paid work experience has mostly been in the fields of community work, adult learning and public health (health promotion). My formal study has focused on sociology, qualitative research, social work and social services practice supervision. I hold MA (Honours) and MSW (Applied) degrees along with a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Services Supervision (Distinction).

Since joining the Whakauae team in 2008, I have had the great privilege of taking part in many of the research activities that our Ngāti Hauiti-owned organisation is involved with. Whakauae aspires to contribute to social transformation that benefits Māori, using excellent research as the vehicle. My colleagues, and those we work alongside in the local community and beyond, provide daily inspiration for finding ways forward that can make a positive difference for Māori.

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Lynley Cvitanovic