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Announcing your 2023 Westfield Local Hero

We are excited to announce Montee Stehlin from Heart Kids Auckland as your 2023 Westfield Local Hero for Manukau! Westfield is proud to award a community grant of $20K to help Montee and Heart Kids Auckland to continue to grow their impact in the local community

The 2023 Westfield Local Heroes program will award 126 grants across Australia and New Zealand – totalling $1.26 million to support local communities.

Nominations for the 2024 Westfield Local Heroes program open 10 October. If you know someone who's making an impact, nominate them as a Westfield Local Hero - nominate here.


Your 2023 Westfield Manukau Local Hero is:

Montee Stehlin

Heart Kids Auckland

Compassionate. Dedicated. Calming.

Compassionate Montee Stehlin helps hundreds of children and family members navigate the life-long journey that follows a childhood heart condition diagnosis.

Montee is a family support social worker at Heart Kids Auckland, where she goes above and beyond to look after her clients' practical and emotional needs.

Patients and families across South Auckland rely on Montee’s calming influence. From childhood to the teenage years, she looks after families as if they are her own. She respects that each person’s experience is unique and ensures they will never walk alone.

Montee has fostered an environment where every family feels valued and safe, and they all know they can call on her anytime. Attend any Heart Kids event in Auckland, and you can’t help but be moved by the number of kids running up to hug her.

What makes Montee even more remarkable is that she has experienced childhood heart conditions in her family. She is forever grateful to Heart Kids NZ for their support and was inspired to study social work because of the care they received.

Montee is humbled to be nominated as a Westfield Local Hero. “I do my best to ensure our families get the best support Heart Kids NZ can offer.”

Heart Kids Auckland will uses its grant to fund connection and support events. It will also use the grant for high-needs and bereavement support and financial aid to families.


We'd like to thank and acknowledge our finalists who will receive a $5K grant for the organisation they represent...

Oliviera Tavu'i from Little Miracles Trust

Big-hearted Oliviera Tavu'i is a warm and gracious supporter of parents who have children in the neonatal intensive care unit at Middlemore Hospital. The Little Miracles Trust Family Support Coordinator has endless compassion despite the confronting nature of her work. As a former NICU mum, Oliviera helps all whānau feel loved, seen and heard.

Piho Tuaiti from Otara Blue Light

Police officer Taiaiti (Piho) works tirelessly as Chairperson of the Otara Blue Light’s Te Huringa o Te Tai o Nga Wahine (Turning of the Tide for Young Girls) programme. He leads workshops and mentors vulnerable 14 to 18-year-old women. The programme has helped reduce offending by Maori and Pasifika young women by 28% in four years.


If you need support, please phone Lifeline Aotearoa: 0800 543 354

Recognising all our 2023 nominees

View all of the Westfield Manukau nominees and their organisations.

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