Ezekiel Raui

Te Rarawa, Cook Islands

I first met Ezekiel Raui in 2013 when I was asked to visit Taipa Area School in the far north, near Kaitaia. Unbeknown to me then, Ezekiel had lost five of his friends to suicide in less than three months. Ezekiel changed the way I looked at mental health within our communities.

His ability to effectively communicate what he considered to be happening in his community left me astounded. His understanding of what was required to combat those problems was intelligent, intuitive, and practical1. His desire to find a solution contributed to Tu Kotahi (Stand Tall), a national whole-school youth suicide prevention program currently being evaluated by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.

Over the past four years, I have watched as Ezekiel has gone from strength to strength in his quest to understand and formulate better methods of understanding and communication between youth and their peers, youth and adults, and the continuing representation of youth in the wider community.

Ezekiel accompanied me and the Key To Life team to the 2016 World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference Turamarama ki te Ora in Rotorua. Over three days, Zeke spoke to adults and youth, Kaumātua (elders) and Rangatira (chiefs) – relaying his story of overcoming adversity and marginalisation and succeeding in his quest for a better understanding of youth in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Ezekiel has done more than someone twice his age could achieve. His pursuit of personal development through community-based initiatives resulted in him being selected as one of four New Zealand Māori ambassadors to attend the 2015 Inaugural White House Tribal Leaders Conference hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama2. He was awarded the Inaugural Matariki Young Achievers Award3 for 2016.

Ezekiel Raui is an outstanding young man who genuinely cares about the well-being of youth in this country. He is only at the beginning of his life. He has so much left to achieve. Therefore, I have no hesitation whatsoever in writing of Ezekiel Tamaana Raui as a Māori Leader.

[1] http://thenuttersclub.co.nz/video/ezekiel-raui

[2] http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/201764823/ezekiel-raui-from-the-wharekura-to-the-white-house

[3] https://www.teaonews.co.nz/2016/06/26/ezekiel-raui-named-matariki-young-achiever-of-the-year/

 

Profile By

Mike King 2017

He Rangatira Our Leaders

Dr Cherryl Waerea-i-te-Rangi Smith

Ngāti Apa, Whanganui, Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngāi Tumapuhiarangi

Cherryl is an astute leader who exemplifies humility by giving selflessly, providing wise mentorship, and encouraging others to do their best.

Dean Rangihuna

Ngati Porou, Ngati Hei

He has extensive experience in crisis resolution, forensic, adult, child, and youth inpatient services, focusing on reducing restraint and seclusion incidents for Māori.

Awerangi Tamihere

Ngāti Kauwhata, Rangitane, Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Ngāi Tahu

For the past three decades, Awerangi Tamihere (MNZM) has dedicated her career to strategic health planning, organisational development, and the reform of social policies, with a primary emphasis on whānau development.

Associate Professor Leonie Pihama

Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Māhanga, Ngā Māhanga a Tairi

Leonie is a leading kaupapa Māori educator and researcher, well-known in our communities. She graduated with her MA (1993 First Class Hons) and PhD in Education (2001) from the