Ko Tongariro te Maunga, ko Taupō te Moana, ko Tūwharetoa te iwi, ko Te Arawa te waka, ko Te Heuheu te tangata. Ko Ramon Maniapoto ki ahau.
Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua
‘I walk backwards into the future
with my eyes fixed on my past’
I was born in Turangi, NZ and raised throughout Aotearoa by my grandparents and eventually returned to Turangi in my mid-teens. I was a young over experienced city kid learning to be honest with my sexuality in a small town where every corner was filled by a whanau member of some degree. I was fortunate to have had the protection by my whanau, hapū and iwi from the harmful behaviour that many others had experienced at that time, giving light to the journey ahead which has led me here today.
The two verses above are identification markers, in that they tell you and reinforce to me my sense of place and what helps to guide me. If I can uphold the teachings of my ancestors, then the future will be safer and stronger.
My involvement in community activism comes from a place of aroha and well-being and has allowed me to view the world through a kaupapa Maori lens in a mainly pakeha landscape. I want to bring those learnings and experience to this role.
In my very young past of 30 years I have walked with my takataapui whānau in celebration of our identity and in recognition of our brothers, sisters, uncles and koro’s who were ripped from our lives by HIV/AIDS. I have fought the haters of Civil Unions and Marriage Equality, I have wept with the whānau’s when they wailed for justice when their children were butchered because of their occupation in the sex industry and I have stood on footsteps of Parliament and squashed the gavel of injustice by using the very system that oppressed the vulnerable to free them through legislative instruments. My partner Tim and I lived In Cape Town, South Africa where our consultancy held roles with United Nations agency’s (UNAIDS, UNDP) delivering capability training to civil society NGOs focusing on how to shift and leverage the central government power structures to hear their voices.
Here are three issues that I need your support for.
- the establishment of a rainbow centre of expertise within government to co-design human centred policy solutions, access research and data insights that informs the work across the whole of government
- the voices of takataapui are supported in the community through access to targeted funding within government initiatives and that the public sector upholds its obligations to te Tiriti o Waitangi
- that gender diversity training is compulsory for all front facing public servants, mainly law enforcement and that a performance and monitoring process is implemented to measure and evaluate outcomes
Please let me know what you want to see improved, changed or challenged. Your voices matter and without them we will cannot progress in a collaborative, collective and accountable manner.
Work Email: email@example.com
Personal Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile: 021 1377 068