Real Talk Kaupapa - Our Why

A place where REAL people are able to share their REAL stories to inspire and empower others.

Aotearoa has some of the highest youth suicide rates in the developed world.  654 people died by suicide in Aotearoa in 2020. Of this, 174 were Māori suicides and a total of 78 deaths were made up made up of rangatahi aged between 10-25 years old.

We know that the Real Talk kaupapa and kōrero is making a positive impact in Aotearoa, and can contribute to improving rangatahi wellbeing and reduce the likelihood of suicide for rangatahi.

We take our audience on a journey, a journey of laughter, a journey of tears, and a journey with absolute passion and purpose.

We create a safe space to speak about what we have experienced in our lives, and that we don’t have to be whakamā, we don’t have to live in silence, we don’t have to hide our secrets anymore. 

When we speak, we heal. When we speak, we free ourselves. When we speak, we provide inspiration and hope for others.

The subjects covered in our kōrero include, but are not limited to the subjects listed below:

  • Suicide and triggers and coping mechanisms
  • Mental Health awareness      

  • Sexual & physical abuse    

  • Gangs & domestic violence   

  • Drug and alcohol addiction    

  • Teen pregnancy & pregnancy loss  

  • Death & grief   

  • Discrimination – racial, gender, sexual orientation       

  • Relationship breakdowns 

  • Career & business aspirations

Everything we do is about inspiring, encouraging and motivating our rangatahi and beyond.

Pānui – Notice of Events

Ōtaki | Saturday 23rd September 2023

11:00am- 3:00pm | Ōtaki College, 233 Mill Road, Ōtaki

Doors open 10:30am

KAIKŌRERO / SPEAKERS: Pania Tepaiho, Pairama Wright, Paris Brown & Te KuraHuia.

MC: Kiino Krystal

ENTERTAINMENT: Jade Merematira

Rangatahi | FREE General Admission

  • Free event entry for Rangatahi (aged 15 -24) or rangatahi service providers!
  • Light kai and non-alcoholic drinks provided

Adults General Admissions | $29

  • Event entry
  • Light kai and non-alcoholic drinks provided

Real Talk 2023 Speakers

Read about Pania!

Pania Tepaiho-Marsh (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa) began hunting for her own mental health, and saw the power of being able to provide as a māmā as a wahine so she created Wāhine Toa Hunting.

Prioritising wāhine in need for her free trips – beneficiaries, solo mums and survivors of trauma. “The women don’t shoot for fun; they shoot to feed their families. We don’t get taught how to change a tyre, we don’t get taught how to use a screwdriver, all these little basic things, and I want to break that dependency”

Pania began her adult life as a beneficiary – entirely dependent on the state and her partner.
Looking back, she recalls her dependence as terrifying, with her mana and self-esteem eroded to nothing. She was unrecognisable; lost, traumatised, and feeling she had no way out.

She is known to be a voice for the voiceless, she is a staunch supporter for kaupapa that she believes in. She is an advocate for our rangatahi in need. She is the aunty that they can call any day, anytime ❤️ We love you Aunty Parns x


Watch the documentary Wāhine Warrior here

Read the full article on the Guardian here

You can find her on Instagram @wahine_toa_hunting

Read about Pairama!

Pairama Wright of Ngā Ruahine, Kāti Māmoe, and Te Ati Awa, grew up as an army child all over Aotearoa. Māori culture and language played a prominent role in his family’s life.

He has achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Māori with honours, and a Master of Professional practice – Education.

Pairama has a passion for the revitalisation of Te Reo Māori. “I love teaching because that’s my contribution to the revitalisation of the language. It’s such an amazing journey to go through and it’s amazing to see other people go through the same process I did as a student”

His online profile features content centred around comedy and Māori culture. You’ll often see videos focused on grammatical aspects like the importance of macrons, or language in context. With 250,000 TikTok followers, Pairama often takes the chance to have conversations around indigenous rights, historical influence on the modern day, or even just sit and have a kai and kōrero.

In 2020, Pairama accepted the role of cultural advisor (kaiārahi tikanga) for Musical Theatre New Zealand, where he was eager to promote a shift towards Te Ao Māori and a change of cultural perception. He also introduced a Musical Theatre award that recognises culture, diversity and inclusion.
Pairama’s current mahi is for Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira, where he facilitates professional learning development in education around challenging inequity, indigenising spaces, and educating Te Reo & mātauranga Māori.

You can find Pairama on Instagram @jamesw916

read about Paris!

Kia ora I’m Paris Brown.
I whakapapa to the 2 Centres of the universe (Whakaki, Pōrangahau) I’m Māori and Transgender.

My passion and my whole being is wanting to provide a safe space/environment for our rainbow whānau to feel nurtured, respected, understood and loved but also a place where they can thrive in life and live a true and authentic life.

Our takatāpui community tends to be misinterpreted, bullied, harassed, shunned by whānau and the list goes on.

The time for Takatāpui to showcase who we really are is now.

Along with Tautoko Takatā Trust, Paris organises the fabulous ‘Twin City Pride Hīkoi’ 🌈 in Hawkes Bay. The kaupapa for this year is ‘Tūturu Tātou’.
-Be Proud, Together.

Paris is currently doing mahi as a Rangatahi Navigator for Te Taiwhenua o Te Whanganui a Orotu. Being able to help our Rangatahi navigate this world is a passion of hers and she looks forward to making new connections out in our communities for our babies 👑

You can find Paris on Instagram @aunty_pere

Read about Te KuraHuia!

Te KuraHuia is a multidisciplinary artist utilising her traditional Māori Pasifika knowledge & overall creative mediums to produce works of pride, self-love & inspiration for her people.

She is currently studying “Acting” at Toi Whakaari and is working as a Māori/Pasifika Performing arts tutor ensuring the knowledge is being passed down.

We are stoked to have Te KuraHuia as a kaikōrero for Real Talk again this time in Ōtaki!

Te KuraHuia has been collaborating with artists Tiki Taane & Black Comet and will be releasing a new track July 28th.

To keep up to date you can find her on Tik Tok, Facebook & Instagram @bbeezxo

Read about Kiino!

We are so honoured to announce Kiino as our MC for Real Talk 2023!

I’m born and bred in Ngāti Kahungunu (aka) Hawke’s Bay.  I started out as the Rangatahi Show announcer on our local iwi radio station Radio Kahungunu in 2013 and as the saying goes, the rest is history.

9 years later and still counting, I Kiino Krystal am still emceeing majority of our local iwi events.  My proudest achievement to date as an iwi emcee is that I now share the stage and events with our keen and highly talented rangatahi who want to share in the spotlight too.  My whakaaro has always been, there is always room on the stage for those who want it most.

Live emceeing and public speaking have always been a part of my life so naturally Kiino was made for the stage!  I have had the honour and privilege to host some of Te Ao Māori national events like The National Waiata Māori Music Awards, Te Matatini – Te Kahu o Te Amorangi, and Te Mana Kura Tahi – Te Haaro o te Kaahu.  Now in more recent times, I have been exploring online hosting too with our iwi and local community.

With all the theatrics aside lol, I would also like to share with you that before Kiino Krystal, I was once “Crystal” a young Māori girl working at the freezing works enjoying the good life of hard earned cash, in one hand and out the other.  Then the day came when I took ahold of my destiny and have reached this moment in my life.  I call this my awakening.

I have woken from within, aware of my intent.

Kiino xxx


You can find Kiino on Instagram @kiinokrystal

Or on her website here

Read about Jade!

Introducing Jade Merematira; a passionate singer/songwriter and storyteller, born and bred in Porirua.

Her passion for song writing has carried her through every trial and every success and has been a gateway for healing, expression, and grounding. Music has been a constant in her life with her family who hail from the beautiful Cook Islands, life has always been loud and colourful.

Now at 24 years of age Jade’s passion for music has never wavered and she is eagerly awaiting the recording and release of her debut EP “Coming Home” which merges Neo/soul, Jazz and folk to illustrate the ebb and flow of life’s seasons and that home can be wherever you find your feet. Allow the music wash over you and the lyrics resonate with whatever part of you feels called.


You can find Jade on Instagram @jademerematira

Read about Jonique!

Jonique Oli – Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Ira was born and bred in the small town of Uawa on the East Coast.

Jonique attended kōhanga reo and kura kaupapa Māori and her world was completely transformed when she moved to Australia as a teenager and had to learn not only a new way of living, but also a new language.

Jonique returned to Aotearoa in 2014 after spending 10 years in Australia to raise her tamariki along side her husband. She has spent the last 4 years on a journey of reo revitalisation alongside studying Psychology, Counselling, Te Reo Māori and working at a Kura Kaupapa Māori as a counsellor and careers advisor and building her business, Waiapu Road.

In 2023 with the rapid growth of her business Jonique decided it was time to solely focus on her business, and is now a full time business woman.

“Moving to Australia was positive in so many ways but moving home was the best thing I could have ever done for us. It’s hard to explain the disconnect of identity that occurs when you move away from te āo Māori and then try to return. Everything I do from my business, to study, to our whānau lives is based around strengthening identity. It has been a long, tiresome journey but we are finally experiencing the fruits of our labour. We are thriving and it’s been worth it.”

You can find Jonique on Instagram @joniqueoli 

And @waiapuroad 

Check out the range on her website here 

Read about Te Waimatao!

Te Waimatao Ropata tōku ingoa. He uri au no Ngāti Toa Rangatira.

My current mahi is Youth Advisor at Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Toa. This mahi is an opportunity for me to help guide our rangatahi on their journey through life, and to help share my knowledge and experience to open their minds to the limitless potential they have.

Ngāti Toa is a vibrant and influential iwi, firmly grounded in our cultural identity, and we’re paddling our own waka in leading significant change in enhancing the mana, wellbeing and prosperity of Ngāti Toa.

My passion and what keeps me grounded is te Ao Māori , taiaha and diving.


You can find Te Waimatao on Instagram @tw_ropata

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