Meet Heather Lyall and Crystal Mesui

20 Dec 2021
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Heather Lyall and Crystal Mesui

What does your role involve?

Heather: I work in Community Engagement and Development in Oranga, and also in the Roskill Development areas of Ōwairaka and Wesley. I help local residents and groups build sustainable and thriving neighbourhoods, alongside warm, dry, high-quality housing for families.

Crystal: My role involves coordinating the development and engagement activities within the Oranga Development. This includes meeting people or key groups involved in the community to help them out with projects they’ve already set up, or collaborating with other groups on new community initiatives and events.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Heather: I love supporting groups and projects to thrive and grow, and seeing new people and initiatives emerge that meet community needs. It’s about connecting people. I believe everyone has something to offer and by working together, we can flourish.

Crystal: What I love most about my role is knowing that I’m contributing to thriving communities and changing livelihoods through the mahi that we deliver.

What do you love most about the Oranga community?

Heather: I’ve only recently joined the team in Oranga but I’m excited to be working here because my beautiful Nana went to Te Papapa School as a young girl and used to tell me stories about her adventures. I look forward to sharing some kai or a cuppa and hearing what locals have to say about the neighbourhood!

Crystal: I love that Oranga is such a small community and that there is a sense of whanaungatanga, connectedness. I often think that this community feels like one big family.

What were you doing previously?

Heather: In my other mahi I work for the Albert Eden and Puketāpapa Local Boards with the Eco Neighbourhood project – this provides funding and support for sustainable living projects that people are passionate about in their own communities.

Crystal: I was a Project Coordinator in my previous role at Kāinga Ora. I was responsible for delivering professional, high volume, high-quality coordination and support services to the wider programme team.

What do you like doing outside of the office?

Heather: I enjoy spending time with my husband and two children. I am also deeply committed to giving back to my own community – we’re involved in lots of local activities.

I’m very much a people person. I enjoy volunteering within the community and I have a few roles within my church, too. I just love being of service to people.