Jonine Nepia (Bobby Moana)

“My husband and I have 4 children and 2 grandchildren with another due December 2015. We are both of Maori descent. My grandmother whangai me from birth and I will always be appreciative to her for the love and support she showed me my whole life and I feel it was a natural thing to do to care for her as she aged. The tables turned and it was my absolute pleasure.

At the moment I am doing a Social Practice degree and my goal, once I graduate is to hopefully work with our kaumatua kuia. I haven’t quite made my mind up as to how I can help but no doubt it will all come together when it needs to. Knowing that I have my whanau support and my mum watching over me and guiding my path way, I will succeed in future endeavours.”

My Mum

Growing up, my brothers and sisters and cousins around me would get hidings – not me. They would have to do chores – not me. Yep, spoiled. I adored Mum. 

I policed her pills, fizzy drinks, cigarettes, but nothing prepared me for the final blow. Dementia. Would Mum really not know who I am?

“I chose to be a part of the digital stories because I wanted to share with whanau that we have the ability to care for our loved ones at end of life. Independence, comfort, familiarity surrounded by whanau. Letting them hear laughter in the home, being able to feed them their favourite foods, having their moko’s run in and out of their room. If they smile just that little bit, fills my heart, knowing we still have the ability to make them happy.

I chose to tell the story of my mum because I love her still to this day. I am proud of our relationship that we had. I want to put her on a pedestal as she deserves to be. If one person takes anything from my story then it was worth sharing and was worth my time. Kia ora.”