Matthew Tukaki is a man of action, with little tolerance of incompetent governance that impacts negatively on the lives of those most in need of competent policy-making and delivery of care. He has a quick wit and ability to communicate to a wide audience including the use of a range of media. Born and raised in Wellington to a Māori father and Pākehā mother Matt has strong ties to his Ngati Ranginui Iwi and his whānau on Matakana Island. Having lived most of his adult life in Australia Matt has decided to transition home, and in a relatively short period, he has made his mark felt.
Matt became committed to advocating for changes in the way governments and society responded to the growing suicide crisis when a friend of his killed himself two weeks after being discharged as “healed” from a Sydney Mental Health facility. Before, his work in suicide prevention, Matthew is known for his work in broadcasting, radio, employment, the global financial crisis, education and research in Australia and internationally.
Matthew’s move home saw him appointed in November 2017 to the role of executive chairman of the National Māori Authority, Ngā Ngaru Rautahi O Aotearoa. In 2018 he also became the chair of the Auckland District Māori Council, and In July he was elected to the National Executive of the New Zealand Māori Council with a clear agenda to move the Māori council towards leading the national social policy debate. The agenda began across fronts including suicide prevention, homelessness and the affordability of life-extending and life-saving drugs for Māori. Matthew is committed to equity of access and outcomes for Māori across all domains. Matt's expertise in multimedia has enabled him to spread the debate on these and other issues to a much wider audience including those who have not participated in the debate in the past.
Matt is an intelligent man of action. He is a man who loves our people and puts himself out to meet our people. He will pound on the doors of the key decision makers in this country to ensure our voices are heard. Matthew will wholeheartedly support effective and innovative approaches to the minimisation of harm and the maximisation of health, happy Māori whānau.
Mere Balzer, Tūhourangi, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Ranginui, Maniapoto, Member of NZ Order of Merit (MNZM). retired