YOUTHink, Believe and DO! #TearapounamuYouth

Date: Wednesday, 27th April 2022

Māori and Pasifika peoples are youthful populations. The Pacific population has a median age of 23 years, and for Māori the median age is 26 years. Both groups represent our future workforce and leaders. Sharing decision-making power with rangatahi Māori and Pasifika young people is critical to addressing inequities in health. Hear from Te Hiringa Hauora Pasifika youth and members of Ngāti Rangatahi about what works and what doesn’t.

This taiohi focussed webinar showcased best practice youth engagement from leadership, design to delivery led by Ngāti Rangatahi and Te Hiringa Hauora Pasifika youth. These real-life examples enact ‘Tiriti-dynamic’ practice that centres and values young people. There was knowledge exchange, energy and panel for kōrero-tālanoa consisting of young people and tuakana. The session ended with reflections from Rob Campbell, Chair of Health NZ.

You can see the recording below:

Full video

Working with young people

Ngāti Rangatahi

Pasifika Youth

Panel 1 - Rangatahi

Panel 2 - Reflection


About our speakers

Meet our Pasifika crew

Melissa Lelo


Programme Lead Young People

Mel was born in Suva, Fiji and migrated to Aotearoa settling in central west Auckland. She proudly reps West Auckland. Mel started her career in the drug and alcohol treatment area moving into public health and health promotion with a focus on Pacific. Her passion is for young people to have a voice in things of importance to them. Mel's former role at the Ministry of Youth Development allowed her to help develop young people with skills to participate and grow as well as those that worked with them. Her previous work with Auckland Council continued her journey of encouraging youth voice in local policy. Mel's motivation to move back into health is an opportunity to combine her drive for positive youth development whilst working in a Tiriti-dynamic organisation that focuses on equity and wellbeing of children and young people, communities and whanau.

Lucky Terence Slade, 32 years

Vaivase-Tai &Matautu-uta (Sāmoa)

Advisor Pasifika Cultural Advice & Partnerships

Terence is a proud New Zealand born Sāmoan who currently resides in Christchurch. Originally from Te Atatu South in West Auckland, he is someone who is grounded by his strong religious faith within the EFKS Church and the love and support of his Aiga. Completed his highschooling at Auckland Grammar School before moving into the workforce working with different government departments and NGOs specifically with young people. Terence is studying part-time completing his Bachelors in Property and Commerce at Auckland University. His upbringing has been through the church where his sense of work within the community is founded upon. The importance of incorporating the Pasifika voice to the forefront of government initiatives pertaining to Pasifika health is what drives him.

Kateni Sau, 24 years

Kotu & Mounga’one (Kingdom of Tonga)

Cultural Advice and Partnerships Advisor

Kateni was born in Auckland but lived most of her life in the beautiful city of Porirua (Cannons Creek represent). She attended various secondary schools such as Porirua College, Palmerston North Girls Highschool, Taita College and Linwood College (perks of being a PK - Preacher's Kid). She did all her study at Te Herenga Waka / Victoria University of Wellington graduating with a BA in Cultural Anthropology, Sociology and a minor in Pacific Studies, BA (Hons) in Cultural Anthropology and currently studying towards her Masters in Migrations Studies. Her motivation for working in health now is to contribute to the change for the health of her Pasifika communities and family.

Tala Sooupu, 25 years

Magiagi, Moamoa, Patamea & Uafato (Sāmoa)

Advisor Procurement

Tala was born in Sāmoa and moved to New Zealand with her family in 2005 where they settled in Te Awamutu, Waikato. She attended Te Awamutu College and recently graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and Graduate Diploma in Political Sciences from the University of Waikato. Tala is currently looking to gain as much experience working in the public sector however she will be looking to get her bar admission underway in 2022 as a stepping stone toward her ultimate goal of becoming a Supreme Court Justice in the Sāmoa Land and Titles Court. Tala’sfamily and personal experiences with mental distress and her awareness of the lack of appropriate resources and tools around collective solutions for mental distress in the communities she is a part of is what motivated her to join the health sector.

Atelaite Taupeavai Mapa, 28 years

Ngāpuhi (Aotearoa) Niuatoputapu & Kolofo'ou (Kingdom of Tonga)

Senior Advisor Pasifika Cultural Advice& Partnerships

Atelaite was born in Kahuku, Hawai'i and returned to her mother's tūrangawaewae, Ōtara in 2002. From then, she has and still reps South Auckland! From Tangaroa College, she is a tēina who never forgot her kāinga when she went to the University of Auckland to complete her CertHSc, BHSc and BHSc (Hons, First Class) and the University of Utah to complete her MPH (Global Health, First Class) full-time in Incheon, South Korea. Atelaite is preppin' to run the United Nations because Southside run it! Her father, a retired 1st Calvary U.S. Army serviceman and her mother, a selfless church leader have trained Atelaite and her 3 sisters to be fearless, global Moana citizens to combat systems of oppression.

Gracyn Tomuli Li’uli’u-Afoa, 20 years

Manunu, Matautu Lefaga, Lalomalava & Faleula

Pasifika Intern Cultural Advice &Partnerships

Born and raised in South Auckland, Gracyn attended St Mary’s College, graduated from the Auckland University of Technology with a Diploma in Applied Science (Pre-Chiropractic) and is currently at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, working towards her Bachelor of Chiropractic. Carrying a heart of service and the values of her Samoan upbringing, she has worked with non-profitable organisations, churches, and businesses serving the Pasifika elderly. As a Pasifika young person who can step into forums of decision making and change in the health sector, Gracyn values her position and drives to ensure that Pasifika youth are at the forefront of these decisions and changes.

Ngāti Rangatahi

Whitinga Harris

Ko Whakapūnake te maunga
Ko Te Wairoa Hōpūpū Hōnengenenge Matangirau te awa
Ko Tākitimu te waka
Ko Ramoto Kireara te marae
Ko Whitinga Whakaha Harris tōku ingoa.

Social media co-lead, Ngāti Rangatahi

Whiti has always felt passionately about design and content creation, and as social media co-lead he has oversight of all content created by the team including short docos and cheeky TikToks. His goal is to carve a place where Ngāti Rangatahi can have longevity and be something that Rangatahi Māori feel as though they can add to and own. Ultimately he wants to make Ngāti Rangatahi go viral – in his own words: “Who wouldn’t want the kaupapa they work on to be top dog!”

He is a creative completing his Bachelor of Commerce with a double major in Accounting & Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Maioha Panapa

He uri teenei noo Ngaai Taamanuhiri, Waikato-Maniapoto, Rongowhakaata me Te Whaanau-aa-Apanui anoo hoki.

Ngāti Rangatahi

Maioha has been part of Ngāti Rangatahi since its inception. Her goal for the movement is to create a centralised Rangatahi network and governance group. She says for many Māori and Pasifika young people, there is no single platform to connect and tautoko personal pursuits and aspirations. Maioha believes Ngāti Rangatahi is the movement to make that happen.

A graduate and alumni of the University of Waikato, with a Bachelors in Māori Indigenous Studies & tikanga Māori, Maioha joined Waikato-Tainui as a communications advisor while in her final year of study, and has provided secretariat support to the Iwi Communications Collective.

Ngaati Rangatahi Campaign Lead, Te Uranga Pihama with her daughter, Rangipua Pihama

Te Uranga Pihama

Ngaati Rangatahi

Waikato, Ngaati Maniapoto

Te Uranga joined Ngaati Rangatahi in September 2021 as the Campaign Lead.

Te Uranga’s role has been an instrumental in supporting and advising Co-Leads, Maioha Panapa & Whitinga Harri, The wider roopuu of the Ngaati Rangatahi Collective & That's Us Campaign.

Te Uranga's goal for Ngaati Rangatahi is to continue to uphold the mana and mauri for all Rangatahi to have a safe space where their voices and future aspirations are at the forefront. She say's "Rangatahi have never had a space we're they can just be Rangatahi. Our Rangatahi face many barriers and to this day continue to preserve through it all. Through our movement with Ngaati Rangatahi and That's Us Campaign, I believe we have created a legacy for future generation of our Rangatahi to come through these doors. This is only the beginning to greatness".

Te Uranga also joined Waikato Tainui in September 2020 as a Career Pathway Advisor within the Education and Pathways Team. She has also worked across Government & Tertiary Education sectors in the last 10 years and is a lifelong Regional and National Youth Advisor for theCentral North Island Panel Team through Ministry of Social Development.

"Mā te Tuakana kā tōtika te Tēina. Ma te Tēina kā tōtika te Tuakana"  

Panel Members

Mele Manuna Sau Ngahe

Mo'unga'one and Kotu, Ha’apai, Tonga

Weltec 2nd year student studying towards a Diploma in Youth Work

Mele was born in Auckland but lived most of her life outside of it in places such as Cannons Creek, Porirua, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Lower Hutt, Tauranga and Levin to name a few. She is currently in her last year of her diploma in Youth Work at Weltec whilst also being a full-time mother to two young boys with a young girl on the way. Being able to help others understand Pasifika youth more and helping our Pasifika youth get the help they need has been the greatest motivation for Mele and she looks forward to becoming a qualified youth worker in a few months to build a better tomorrow for the future generation.

Tane Cassidy

Tumu Whakarae/Chief Executive | Te Hiringa Hauora

Of Ngāpuhi descent, Tane Cassidy has worked in the areas of health marketing, funding and contracting, and policy development since graduating from the University of Otago in the 1990s. He has worked with a wide range of government and non-government organisations, Māori, private businesses, and community groups.

Jess Gasparini

Senior Consultant, Synergia

Jess was born and raised in Te Atatū, in West Auckland, and lives there to this day with her family. Prior to her current role, she completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences and a Master in Public Health from the University of Auckland, and was involved in tutoring first year pre-med students during her post-graduate years. While she still considers herself to be a young person, Jess enjoys working with youth. In her experience, our young people have such fresh, innovative and uninhibited ideas that aren't constrained by the current way of doing things. They are the people who are going to take on the roles in the future system, so it's important that we listen and build it around their aspirations.

Rosie Hopwood

Senior Consultant, Synergia

Rosie from Kaitaia - the mighty Far North has a public health background and is deeply interested in systems design, evaluation and community development (a real mixed-bag of things). Rosie has been humbled and honoured to engage with Pasifika Youth for the Pacific action plan project with TeHiringa Hauora and Synergia.Through this project, she met and talked with incredible Pasifika youth, and is excited to see this action plan come to life, embracing youth as the inheritors of the health system.

Fritz Evile

(Sāmoa) Prinicipal Advisor Tagata o le Moana, Health, Quality & Safety Commission

Taufusi, Apolima, Salani, Satoalepai, Faatoia, Levili & Iva (Sāmoa)

Fritz reppin’ Māngere aka Māgele 275 is a New Zealand-born Sāmoan. Fritz has a solid background in the education sector particularly in strategy development, building Pasifika staff networks and training the workforce in cultural competencies and leadership. He is an expert in building and managing relationships for equity outcomes. In previous roles Fritz was the PrincipalAdvisor/Relationship Manager at Te Kawa Mataaho Public Services Commission and, before that, the Principal Advisor at NZQA where he co-authored the Takiala Pasifika Strategic Action Plan and recently has built and led Tagata o le Moana work programme at Te Hiringa Hauora which included the development of the Pacific Health Promotion Action Plan. Now as a Te Hiringa Hauora alumni at the Health, Quality & Safety Commission, Fritz continues to bring Pasifika flavour in systems and processes.

Mosi Joshua Kaleti Moala-Mafi

President - Victoria University of Wellington Tongan Students' Association (Stallions), Student Ambassador (Pasifika) - Victoria University of Wellington

Api-Ko-Kape, Kolofo'ou, Nuku'alofa, Tongatapu - Kingdom of Tonga

Temakin, BetioTown, Tarawa - Kiribati

Mosi Moala-Mafi was born in the capital of Aotearoa and is nineteen years of age. Mosi is of Tongan and Kiribati descent and is a Youth Leader/Ambassador for Pasifiki people. He believes that Pasifiki Youth are the leaders of the future and that Pasifiki cultural richness is not often given the attention it deserves. He has raised awareness for Pasifiki Health alongside Pasifika Against Covid-19 (PAC-19), The Pacific Health Service (Hutt Valley/Wellington) and Manatū Hauora (The Ministry of Health). Mosi was also named Head Prefect of Scots College, Wellington for 2020 and this year, he undertakes the role as the President of the Victoria University of Wellington Tongan Students' Association (Stallions).

Ethan Tauevihi-Kahika

Fakalaofa lahi atu, Ko e hingoa haaku ko Ethan.

Ethan is a Kaiārahi - Family Court Navigator for the Ministry of Justice and a Youthline Helpline Mentor, Triage and Clinical Support Worker, Group Facilitator, and a member of the Youthline Advisory Committee. Ethan was a client of Youthline when he was 15 years old at a time he needed someone the most and he wants to be that person who was there in his time of need for our Rangitahi.Ethan is passionate about supporting our Rangitahi, normalising speaking up, reaching out and asking for help. Ethan is currently supporting the redevelopment of the Lowdown website as a member of Youth Partnership Group with Te Hiringa Hauora.


Rob Campbell CNZM

Chair | Health NZ

Mr Rob Campbell, CNZM CFInstD, is an experienced professional director with extensive union, public and private sector governance experience spanning over 40 years in a range of different settings, both domestically and internationally. He lives in Auckland. Current Chair roles include Ara Ake Ltd, Chair of Environmental Protection Authority, Tourism Holdings Ltd, WELNetworks, NZ Rural Land Company and Chancellor Auckland University of Technology. He also Chairs Just Move Trust which works with South and West Auckland communities promoting healthy lifestyle activities.

In 2017 he was awarded the NZ Shareholders Association Beacon Award and the Deloitte NZ Chair of the Year Award in 2017 and then in 2019, awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and made a Distinguished Alumni of Victoria University. My intention is to bring what I have learned during my career about how organisations best work to the health sector. A healthy community involves us all and health services are a core part of our communities. Health NZ will enable skilled and dedicated professionals to do their best, and deliver equity and excellence to all we do.

Tau Huirama

Kaumatua | Te Hiringa Hauora

Ki a mihiatu ki a ratou 
Kua mene ki te po
Haere Haere Haere 

Ka huri atu ki te mihi ki te Kingi a Tuheitia Potatau Te Wherowhero tuawhitu
A rire rire hau paimarire

Ko Ngati Tamainupo te Hapu  

Kaumatua: Maunga Tautari Huirama (Tau)

Tau Huirama has more than 20 years professional experience as a culturalsupervisor, coach, mentor and facilitator of crucial conversations.

He provides trustworthy, wise and knowledgeable cultural and bi-cultural adviceand support to Māori and non-Māori seeking to deliver the best possible resultsfor their whānau and stakeholders.