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Auckland gains new Missioner

The Auckland City Mission has announced that its General Manager of Social Services, Helen Robinson has been appointed the new City Missioner to replace Chris Farrelly who will be stepping down in April 2021.

Auckland City Mission | Taonga News  |  23 Feb 2021  |

The Auckland City Mission has appointed a new City Missioner, Ms Helen Robinson, ahead of the upcoming departure of Chris Farrelly, who has held the position for the last five years.

The Board is delighted to confirm that Helen Robinson will begin as Auckland City Missioner starting on 2 April 2021.

"Helen has all of the qualities we need to ensure the Mission keeps working towards a better Aotearoa." said Auckland City Mission Board Chair, Joanna Pidgeon.

When looking to appoint a new Missioner, the Board was clear they needed to find a successor who would continue with the transformational work already underway at the Mission. 

"Helen Robinson is already familiar to the Mission whānau whānui, as she is currently the organisation’s General Manager of Social Services and has been an employee of the Mission for almost a decade."

"She brings a deep knowledge of the Mission’s work to the role, and an even deeper commitment to a more equitable world, cemented by a strong background in social services.” said Ms Pidgeon.

As current City Missioner Chris Farrelly looks toward the end of his term, Ms Pidgeon says everyone involved with the Mission will miss his visionary and compassionate approach to the role.

"Chris has much to be proud of...[but] his biggest legacy will be the Mission’s most ambitious project to date – HomeGround – due to open later this year."

The HomeGround precinct is a purpose-built place of healing and transformation for Tamaki makaurau - Aucklanders that provides holistic support to help people out of homelessness.

Working to realise the HomeGround project has seen Missioner Chris Farrelly and his team draw in the support of many Aucklanders and community stakeholders over its years in development. It has also been also a project strongly backed and upheld by the Diocese of Auckland, and in particular the recently deceased Assistant Bishop of Auckland Jim White.

Once completed in 2021, HomeGround will feature supported apartments for people experiencing homelessness, as well as community spaces and a health centre.

“Chris Farrelly is an exceptional leader who has expanded and improved services exponentially, to provide greater and more sophisticated support to more people in desperate need." said Joanna Pidgeon.

"Under Chris' guidance, the Auckland City Mission has also taken a lead in exploring long-term solutions to the societal issues of homelessness, food insecurity, addiction and affordable health-care.”

On behalf of all involved with the Mission, Ms Pidgeon welcomed Helen into her role this week, and thanked Chris, wishing him well as he leaves the role ready to spend more time with his family.

“We are so incredibly grateful to Chris for all he has achieved for the Mission. And we look forward to welcoming Helen into her new role.”