Ben Hingston

Ngāti Whakauae, Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Ben is an emerging leader in mental health and addiction services. He works at the cutting edge of health and politics to drive innovation and creativity in service commissioning to improve equity of health outcomes for Māori and improvements in the health system.

Ben currently works as the Executive Director of Service Commissioning – Oranga Hinengaro at Te Aka Whai Ora, the Māori Health Authority. In this role, he leads Māori mental health and addictions service commissioning and supports the health system reforms to enhance the influence of Māori rangatiratanga and hauora.

In 2020, Ben worked on a new and innovative eMental health and addiction framework in his rohe, Rotorua. This framework was created to raise awareness of how people could engage and use digital tools to help support their mental well-being. This work comprises experts across health and social sectors focusing on wellbeing, early intervention and kaupapa Māori services. The eMental health and addiction solutions were created to work alongside existing approaches to meet the increasing demand for services as existing methods are continuously stretched to their limits.

Ben has a Master’s, First-Class Honours, in Politics and International Relations from Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland. For his postgraduate studies, he received the Robert Chapman Postgraduate Prize, awarded for the best piece of master’s or PhD research in the field of New Zealand politics. He also received the Māori and Pacific Graduate Scholarship in 2014 and 2015, given to the top Māori and Pacific Graduate scholars at the University of Auckland.

During his undergraduate studies in Social Sciences, majoring in Political Science and Public Policy at Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, the University of Waikato, he received the Māori Excellence Award in 2013 and 2012. Ben also gained a Tikanga Māori certificate from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.


He Rangatira Our Leaders

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Dr Jamie-Lee Rahiri works as a surgeon and researcher to improve Māori well-being and experiences in healthcare.

Professor Papaarangi Reid

Te Rarawa, Te Rarawa

I believe Papaarangi would describe herself as a Te Rarawa public health physician, known for her work demanding Crown accountability for Māori Health Inequities.

Mapihi Raharuhi

Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Mākino, Ngāti Kea, Ngāti Tuara, Ngāti Waiora

Her whānau describes her as a pillar of strength, especially for emerging leaders within her whānau. It is my pleasure that I have the opportunity to write about Mapihi as a Māori leader.

Wikepa Keelan

Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungungu, Rongomaiwahine

 He is a stabilising presence, a reference point, a rock. He has mastered the delicate balance of impelling and empowering people to stand on their own two feet, not only when things are going well but also during the most difficult moments in life.