HU­MANS OF KAITAIA Pas­sion for help­ing North’s taita­mariki

The Northland Age - - Local News - By Richard Hape

He uri ahau no¯ te iwi Tarara me nga¯ iwi Ma¯ ori o Te Hiku o Te Ika, E whai pa¯ nga ana ahau ki Te Rarawa, Ngai Takoto me Ngati Kahu.

“Ko te kuaka te¯ tahi o nga¯ tino manu i te rohe o Muri­whenua ko o¯ na tikanga whaka­haere i to¯ na¯ kahui he mea pai hei aru­manga ma¯ tatou te tan­gata.”

am the el­dest of nine sib­lings. I was born, raised, and at­tended school in Awanui and Kaitaia.

My dad passed away when I was 12 from a heart at­tack play­ing rugby for Waipa­pakauri Rugby Club. Ac­tu­ally, he was train­ing, and wasn’t meant to play any­more any­way.

This crazy event in our young lives im­pacted us all dif­fer­ently. It was fol­lowed con­sec­u­tively by the death of my two grand­fa­thers.

My mum was def­i­nitely our rock. She had three young ba­bies, my­self and my sis­ter to look af­ter, but she did it, and I helped where I could.

Mum later met our step­fa­ther who had two chil­dren, but he also gifted us with an­other lit­tle sis­ter and brother.

One thing I re­mem­ber from when I was young was teach­ing my lit­tle broth­ers how to mow the lawns. It was meant to be the old fella’s job, not mine, ha ha ha.

I have had so much work ex­pe­ri­ence in my 33 years from lawn mow­ing, wash­ing buses, to be­ing a youth men­tor. I have worked as a bouncer, and worked along­side some awe­some peo­ple, like the late Rap­ine Mur­ray, and the many in­di­vid­u­als he in­tro­duced me too.

Now I am a part of the Adult and Com­mu­nity Ed­u­ca­tion team at Far North REAP.

I am pas­sion­ate about Te reo Ma¯ ori me ona tikanga and also have a pas­sion for help­ing our taita­mariki as best I can.

Work­ing as part of the RAID Move­ment roopu to cre­ate sui­cide aware­ness and re­silience in our youth was an eye-opener.

I can’t wait un­til this con­ver­sa­tion be­comes the norm.

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