RESIGNING from the Miharo Murihiku Trust was one of the hardest decisions Pauline Smith has had to make in her career.
After helping to found the trust and working as its general manager for the past 12 years, Mrs Smith handed in her resignation last week to pursue what she describes as passion projects.
“I do feel really sad to be leaving Miharo because we built something really big and important for our community,” she said.
But I also feel very proud of the achievements over the 12 years.
“Miharo has been such big part of my life so it was definitely a hard decision [to make].”
Mrs Smith had been an advocate for the Maori and Pasifika arts community, being one of the creators of the popular Murihiku Polyfest.
In recognition of her efforts, she was last year made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Pacific arts and the community.
Literature was another of her passions. She had written the book, My New Zealand Story: Dawn Raid, for which she received the best new author award at the New Zealand Book Awards in 2018 and a NZ Storylines Notable Book Award.
Mrs Smith said she had no specific project planned, but another book was a possibility.
“I have a couple of ideas so it might be something I can pursue as I really enjoy it.”
Miharo chairman Junior Tonga said the trust had accepted Mrs Smith’s resignation with sadness.
“Pauline leaves an amazing legacy, a testament to her hard work, leadership, networking and ongoing vision for Miharo.
“We acknowledge her with love and respect for all the mahi and commitment she has given to the trust.”
Mr Tonga said the trust would start the recruitment process to fill the position soon.
“It will be hard to fill those shoes.
“It is a massive loss for our trust, but we have a lot of respect for her.
“We just wish her all the best.”