Whanāu Mercy Ministries Trust first Ko Te Hapai O – Executive Director

Whanāu Mercy Ministries Trust has appointed David Mullin as its inaugural Ko Te Hapai O – Executive Director. 

David Mullin, inaugural Ko Te Hapai O – Executive Director for Whanāu Mercy Ministries Trust. Photo: Supplied

WelCom May 2024

Whanāu Mercy Ministries Trust has appointed David Mullin as its inaugural Ko Te Hapai O – Executive Director. 

The Congregation of Ngā Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand has set up Whānau Mercy Ministries as a new structure to own, govern and continue to grow its education, health and aged-care and community ministries across New Zealand. 

These include five colleges, Mercy Hospital in Dunedin, Mercy Hospice in Auckland, Mercy Villas Upper Hutt and Coolock Cottages Dunedin, and Te Waipuna Puawai, a community services agency in Auckland.

Board Chair Denise Fox rsm described David Mullin as a highly accomplished, thoughtful and effective Catholic leader. ‘Dave brings a deep understanding of the Catholic Church in New Zealand, as well as extensive business and management skills and a recognised ability to work effectively with a wide range of people. It is vitally important our first-ever executive leader is someone who builds trust and confidence with our ministries and our many stakeholders. Dave’s calm and respectful manner and his heart for mercy will enable him to do that exceptionally well.’

The dual title for the role underlines the Trust’s bi-cultural commitment. ‘Ko Te Hapai O comes from a whakatauki (proverb), which reminds us leadership is collective and requires both more visible and less visible contributions,’ said Sr Denise. ‘Dave’s role will be to work with leaders in our ministries to support their success and widen the tent of Mercy in Aotearoa New Zealand in response to the cry of the poor and the cry of the Earth and in the light of the Gospel and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.’

David has been working with the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference in two key roles – as project director for the Church response to the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care and as manager of the national Catholic insurance scheme. He will commence in his new role full-time from mid-June, based in Wellington.