Charlizza Matehe utilises her creative and artistic abilities to facilitate challenging conversations around mental health with young people. Her journey with kapa haka began at age 15, and it has become an outlet for her passions, enabling her to connect with her community in Maraenui, Napier.
At 17, she completed a 10-week business course that solidified her commitment to a life dedicated to the creative arts. Pursuing her passion, she obtained a Bachelor of Youth Development at WelTec, incorporating her placement project, 2Face DRAMA. During this project, Charlizza and her team communicated powerful messages through performing arts at shows across Aotearoa and internationally.
Currently, she works as the founder of Toi Matarua, a performing arts and research company that offers a rangatahi/youth programme, guiding young people to chart their own future by taking a leadership role. Realising the need for a kaupapa Māori research agency, Toi Matarua now gathers Indigenous Māori knowledge to support various research projects on rangatahi and the community.
Toi Matarua's new projects provide young people with opportunities to pursue initiatives that are close to their hearts and positively impact the community. The projects focus on utilizing data that can bring about tangible change in the community, rather than merely collecting data for research papers.
Current projects include a research trip to Tahiti to follow ancestral voyages, a project on rangatahi data sovereignty, and a conference centred around suicide prevention.