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Our Why

‘Real Talk’ has been created to establish a sense of belonging for all of us.

We understand how important it is to empower and inspire each other.

That’s why we have created the ‘Real Talk’ platform.  Where REAL people are able to share their REAL stories to inspire and empower others.

‘Real Talk’ will allow people to come together to encourage, support and guide each other, in a safe and comfortable environment.

New Zealand has some of the highest youth suicide rates in the developed world.  654 people died by suicide in New Zealand 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.

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

2022 Events

Our Real Talk events are full of powerful and inspiring kōrero!

Stay in the know with when we announce our next events by following us on social media!

Real Talk 2022 Speakers

Read about Tangaroa!

Tangaroa Walker is the creator of The Hub – an online leaning platform for everything you need to know about farming. He is also an advocate for mental health awareness in an industry that has some of our most heart-breaking statistics. Being adopted twice by the age of five, his humble upbringing has shaped his character and can-do attitude. 

 

The Hub is online program for new entrants into the agriculture sector and is in the process of obtaining NZQA qualifications for his content, as well as subtitles in a variety of languages with Māori being the first.  

 

He is passionate about education and empowering the next generation through his new-age approach to learning and mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.  

You can find Tangaroa on Instagram @farm4lifenz 

You can read more about him in this Stuff article 

And this RNZ article 

Read about Pania!

Pania Tepaiho-Marsh (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa) began hunting for her own mental health. Now she teaches other women to hunt free of charge, giving them skills to feed their children.

She prioritises women in need for her free trips – beneficiaries, solo mothers and survivors of trauma. The women don’t shoot for fun; they shoot to feed their families.

“We [women] don’t get taught how to change a tyre, we don’t get taught how to use a screwdriver, all these little basic things,” says Tepaiho Marsh.

“I want to break that dependency. When families fall apart, the kids so often end up with the women. We need to make sure those women – especially in an economic crisis like Covid – that these women are fine, that they can still feed their kids.”

As a young mother of two in a “very bad relationship” Tepaiho Marsh 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[power] and self-esteem” eroded to nothing.

Tall with a warm laugh and quick, kind eyes, Tepaiho Marsh says that as a younger woman she was unrecognisable; lost, traumatised, and feeling she had no way out.

“It was a rock-bottom time,” she remembers, her voice dropping.

“If you’re dependent on the state or a partner to feed you, you’ve handed over your independence to someone else, and that’s plain scary. You honestly feel like you can’t get out of it because you’re living week to week, sometimes day to day, depending on how bad it is. And you’ve handed your power over.”

 

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 Constance!

I escaped a religious cult at the age of 22, in which I had been born and raised. It took me an abusive relationship and 2 kids later before I decided to focus on myself and my healing, determined that my healing was my priority, and I had no more time for excuses. 

 

When surviving is all you have known, it’s so worth it to ako (learn) how to live. 

 

To share is to heal, to empower, to give courage and to strengthen. There is so much power in our collective stories, and I cannot wait to share mine with you. 

 

You can find Constance on Instagram @readychic 

Read about Jonique!

Kia ora e hoa mā,  

Above all I am a māmā of three beautiful boys, wife to my handsome Samoan husband and a proud wahine Māori. We reside in the beautiful Kahungunu however I hail from the mighty East Coast where I was born and bred. Our whānau homestead sits neatly on Waiapu Road. 

Waiapu road – The road that leads me home was inspired by my love for my whakapapa and my tūrangawaewae. In an ever-changing world, those parts of me remain unchanged. In an ever-challenging world those parts of me remind me of the strength within me and in the lineage behind me. I run this business on my own from beginning to end, on my own. I work full time as a Guidance Counsellor at a Kura Kaupapa Maori and I also study part time as well. 

Waiapu Roads range will always be to whakamana tangata. They are a source of empowerment for me. It’s my hope that it can be a source of pride and empowerment for you too. 

 

You can find Jonique on Instagram @joniqueoli 

And @waiapuroad 

Check out the range on her website here 

Read about Rawiri!

Rawiri is the owner of Höm, on a mission to disrupt the industry & break stigmas by unifying people and having fun. 

Mental focus and clarity have always been a strength of his – even when faced with adversity. He is proof that through challenging times, comes opportunity. Rawiri is building a platform to change the way the next generation perceive their potential and believes the best place to start is with an abundance mindset. 

 

You can find Rawiri on Instagram @rawirihwnelson 

Check out Höm on their website here 

Listen to his interview on the Planting Seeds podcast here 

Read about Lucy!

Lucy Johnson is a beautifully authentic wāhine Māori, and a very talented musician. We a so lucky to have her not only perform at all our Real Talk events, but she will also be sharing her story at Real Talk in 2022. 

Lucy is an advocate for growth, finding comfort in discomfort and empowering others through words -spoken and sung 🎶

Being scared and doing it anyway has been the biggest gift I’ve ever given myself.” 

 

You can find Lucy on Instagram @__lucysings 

Read about Porourangi!

My Name is Porourangi and I’m the youngest of 6 children raised in the Mormon church. I chose living authentically as who I really am, over the support of my family when I came out as Bi at the age of 17. But that wasn’t even rock bottom yet. 

 

Heartbreak, unhealthy relationship with food and weight, emotional isolation, and depression, I’ve been through it all. The last 8 months have been a huge period of growth and healing for me, and it’s just the beginning.  

 

I love posting on social media to empower those who resonate with my journey. 

 

You can find Porourangi on Instagram @life_with_rangi 

Read about izzy!

Kia ora, ko Izzy toku ingoa. I’m a 20-year-old wāhine living in Tauranga Moana. I am finishing my final papers of my degree in health, sport, and human performance with a major in community health.  

 

I struggled with my identity growing up as a Māori in predominantly white schools. But I’m here to challenge the system and be one more mana wāhine showing that Māori can and are successful. Anyone can do anything. 

 

You can find Izzy on Instagram @Korero_wit_Iz 

Read about Sydney!

My name is Sydney Batters and I was born and raised in the Far North and moved to Auckland to continue my academic studies. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing at Massey University.

 

I am the current, and longest reigning Miss New Zealand International. With my title, I am using my platform to be an advocate for sexual violence and sexual harm as the Volunteer Coordinator for Brave Charitable Trust with Jessica Tyson. I use my social networking and other platforms to share my own story on sexual violence and depression to help those who may share a story similar to mine.

 

I want to tell my story because I am a former victim of sexual violence and sexual abuse. With this experience of my own, I understand that it can be difficult to break those barriers that surround you in a time of uncertainty and fearfulness. The feelings of dread and anxiousness are a massive challenge and with my personal experience on hand, I want to make sure that people understand the importance of not only asking for help, but also HOW to help someone who is struggling through a negative mental state due to sexual harm.

 

I am now 20 years old and use these experiences to help others through traumatic obstacles that stand between them and a happier, healthier life. To me, it’s about sharing stories and experiences, both good and bad, to help broadcast a message to people and rangatahi who may be struggling silently and have no ideas on how to cope with what they’re going through.

 

You can find Sydney on Instgram @sydneybatters

Read about Patrick!
Ko Putauaki te maunga
Ko Rangitaiki te awa
Ko Mataatua te waka
Ko Ngati Awa te iwi
Ko Patrick Salmon tōku ingoa
Patrick is Aotearoa’s first official Indigenous Innovator. With a Masters degree in Applied Indigenous Knowledge, Patrick has developed a global online community of over 100k Relations that share and support each other on the online platforms called KAIRUA.
Patrick shares the power of “being you” and ways of harnessing that to drive your thinking in achieving your aspirations. Patrick along with the ambitious Relation Nation strive to enhance the lives of atleast 1% of all indigenous populations across the globe by doing “cool shit that matter”.
“Kahuri to whakaaro, kahuri te Ao
Change your thinking, change the world.”
– Patrick Salmon
read about Harlem!

Harlem-Cruz Ihaia is the 2017 Miss Universe New Zealand, a passionate Kōhanga Reo teacher, Breatheambassador and a proud wāhine Māori (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou).

 

“We can do anything, my favourite shoes are Red Band gumboots but also high heels so we can do both.”

Harlem-Cruz says her Māori heritage gives confidence in her identity.

“Believing in myself that I can do this. I’m Māori, my goal is to stand Māori in that competition to show the world this is New Zealand, this is Māori, this is us.”

 

Harlem founded Pūrotu, an organisation dedicated in providing the tools and environments for young Hine to stand confidently tall and proud in their own identity.

 

You can find Harlem on Instagram @harlemcruzz

 

Check out her work with Pūrotu on Instagram @purotu_flourish_to_beyoutiful

 

Read the full article on Te Ao Māori News here

read about Kyla!

Kyla Greening, of Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Rakaipāka, has been singing since she was little and says her debt song ‘Rich Girl’ is about her upbringing and is a tribute to her whanau and to all those who grew up from humble beginnings.

Rich Girl is a love song but ultimately a shout out to people that I love – My friends and my family, who make my life rich.

“It talks about driving in a van since I was nine years old and eating 99c bread on the side of the road … And I think it’s just a nice reminder for us at times to know that maybe what you’ve been looking for has been here all along,” Greening says.  

Early last year, the 26-year-old musician was a part of The Parachute Music Artist Development Programme, and recently graduated from the Elevate programme from Creative Waikato in which she learned the business side of the music industry.

“I really love diving into the world of songwriting and getting to better understand how I want to use my voice and our music in our little part of the world. I’m naturally not very business-minded but I think it really gives you good insights and tools to better share your mahi in the best way you can.”

 

Check out her debut single ‘Rich Girl’ on Spotify here

 

You can find Kyla on Instagram @kyla.greening

 

Or find Kyla on Facebook @Kylagreeningmusic

 

Read the full article here on Te ao Māori News here

Read about Kiino!

We are so honoured to announce Kiino as our MC for Real Talk Te Matau a Māui – Hawkes Bay!

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

Real Talk 2021 Speakers

Read about Jess!

My name is Jessica Tyson but please call me Jess! I’m a reporter for Te Ao Māori news at Māori Television. 

I am the former Miss World New Zealand 2018 and have represented Aotearoa at multiple international beauty competitions. After winning MWNZ I started my charity Brave which works to help young people affected by sexual harm.

In 2014 I graduated my Bachelor of Communications Degree majoring in journalism so I have a huge passion for writing and getting information out there! My blog is based on anything and everything that interests me – like beauty, healthy eating, fitness, exercise, Māori, te reo Māori, news and raising awareness about important issues!

 

You can find her on Instagram @jessicatyson08

 

Or on her website here

Read about Raniera!

Raniera Rewiri (Te Whakatohea, Tūhoe, Te Arawa and Ngāpuhi) is proud to be both Māori and vegan and considers his journey to be about finding the connections between the two and how it can contribute to the wellness of tangata Māori, whenua and Māoritanga. He is driven by hauora, self-development, learning, supporting rangatahi Māori, being in nature and cooking/eating healthy food. His passion for personal growth is one of the main factors that to led his journey to become vegan which he openly shares on social media. Though he never set out to be a social media influencer, the followers came, drawn to his journey, and his following has now grown to over 17k people.  Public response to his online content has been positive with words of encouragement and amazement often found within the comment section. 

Raniera is now well known for his motivational preparation talk on Facebook and Instagram. He has also teamed up with his mum, Huia. to create their own food business called Tupuānuku as a vehicle to share his passion for improved wellbeing through plant-based kai. Through Tupuānuku, Raniera has also released an e-book titled Tupuānuku Eating Guide. This book gives an overview of veganism through a Māori perspective and how a plant based lifestyle impacts the human lifestyle. It also includes simple everyday recipes, shopping lists with money saving hacks and a four week meal planner.

One of the key ideas that Raniera portrays is veganism through a Māori lens. He describes an alignment between te ao Māori and a plant based diet with a key link between the two being the connection with the environment. He explains that it is our obligation as Māori to protect our land marks and one to do this could be to choose not to consume dairy and meat products.

Although none of his mahi explicitly uses the terms food sovereignty and food security, some of it can be considered as food sovereignty or security initiatives.

“Knowing who I come from and where I come from is embedded in me. That type of courage to navigate throughout life is installed in me. It’s in my blood. It’s in my whakapapa.”

 

He also hosts the podcast Planting Seeds, which shares inspiring conversations.

 

Read the full article here

 

You can find him on Instagram @plantbasedmaori

 

On his podcast Planting Seeds

 

On his YouTube channel @PlantBasedMaori

 

Or on Facebook @plantbasedmaori

READ ABOUT NIX!
Nicola ‘Nix’ Adams recently shot to Facebook fame after she posted videos of herself doing a make-up tutorial on her Facebook page Cooked Koreros With Nix.
But Nicola didn’t start her Facebook page as a platform to make funny beauty videos. It began as a way to help her reconnect with her children who she lost contact with after her son died and she began doing drugs. 
“Four years ago my two-year-old died, and I just lost everything.  There are a lot of families all over the world who can relate to what I have been through.  People from all over the world are wanting to catch up with me to talk about their daily struggles.
  “Whanau want help to get off drugs and alcohol and some want to be able to keep their children.”  Nicola hopes the success of her Facebook page will help her do just that.”
“I’m using this platform [Facebook] to talk about real sh*t. It’s not just for make-up, it’s not just about doing the perfect wings. It’s about real stuff, discussions (Korero) that my whanau can relate to “
Read about Pania!

Pania Tepaiho-Marsh (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa) began hunting for her own mental health. Now she teaches other women to hunt free of charge, giving them skills to feed their children.

 

She prioritises women in need for her free trips – beneficiaries, solo mothers and survivors of trauma. The women don’t shoot for fun; they shoot to feed their families.

“We [women] don’t get taught how to change a tyre, we don’t get taught how to use a screwdriver, all these little basic things,” says Tepaiho Marsh.

“I want to break that dependency. When families fall apart, the kids so often end up with the women. We need to make sure those women – especially in an economic crisis like Covid – that these women are fine, that they can still feed their kids.”

As a young mother of two in a “very bad relationship” Tepaiho Marsh 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[power] and self-esteem” eroded to nothing.

 

Tall with a warm laugh and quick, kind eyes, Tepaiho Marsh says that as a younger woman she was unrecognisable; lost, traumatised, and feeling she had no way out.

“It was a rock-bottom time,” she remembers, her voice dropping.

“If you’re dependent on the state or a partner to feed you, you’ve handed over your independence to someone else, and that’s plain scary. You honestly feel like you can’t get out of it because you’re living week to week, sometimes day to day, depending on how bad it is. And you’ve handed your power over.”

 

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 ARDON!

Ardon is already inspiring thousands online with his consistent and authentic content around all things fashion, dance, makeup and powerhouse motivation!

“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is!” ?- Ardon

You can find him on Instagram @ardon_england
Read about Paige!

Paige is a māmā of two beautiful children with her husband, rugby player Sean Wainui. She’s a theatre nurse and proud Māori wāhine from Wellington.

 

She has always had a passion for the health profession and is an advocate for those who cannot be an advocate for themselves.

 

She has overcome so much in her career and life on her journey. She is an inspiration for thousands and uses her platform to empower other wāhine to chase their dreams.

 

You can find her on Instagram @paaigefox

 

Or on her YouTube @PaigeFox

READ ABOUT ESMÉ!
Esmé is the multi-passionate mama behind Esmé Studio – @esmestudio_

Based on the Kāpiti Coast, she moved there to be surrounded by the things that inspire her and make her feel the most connected with herself: the gorgeous beaches, sweeping rivers, lush forests, and of course the culture and potential that this community brings! ⁠

A few years ago, she journeyed through a string of transformational life experiences. The discomfort that came from these experiences allowed her to find her passion for helping others. Esmé wants to connect and empower the heavy hearted, the confused and misunderstood – the ones in the midst of hopelessness and blurred vision. She also wants to connect with the positive, uplifting and equally charging women in their own fields on their own journeys!⁠

She is a mama to Bella Te Manawa and Léyla Wren. At 25 years old, she wants to empower women to prioritise their wellbeing through holistic self care and beauty practices.⁠

You can catch Esmé LIVE at Real Talk New Plymouth or tune in virtually with our online tickets!
You can find her on Instagram @esmehunt
Read about Hunter!

“I’m Hunter, I’m 22, born and raised in New Plymouth/Taranaki and my tribal routes originate from Ngai Tahu. I have probably been through any life experience a girl my age could only think about. ⁠

After years of battling, I have found myself again, thanks to the help of my family, some beautiful friends, some lovely therapists and most of all, myself. ⁠

I am so proud to say I have come out the end of such a dark time and place. ⁠

I continue to face obstacles to this day (as I’m sure we all do) but with the strength and resilience my past has given me, I can push through absolutely anything whilst maintaining a positive, beautiful and balanced state of mind (most of the time ?). ⁠

A big part of my heart and soul feels as though I was put on this earth and through all the challenges life has thrown at me for a reason. And I believe this reason is to share my experiences to others who are in need of strength, guidance and aroha to help get them through similar.”⁠

JUST WOW. Wise beyond her years! ❤️ We cannot wait to see her take the stage at Real Talk Nelson! ⁠

You can find Hunter on Instagram @hunterleekawana

 

READ ABOUT TIM!
TimProvise is a South Auckland based Maori comedian and social media personality who is from Te Atiawa decent. He rose to prominence with his podcasts “The Provise Project ” in which he interviews well known New Zealand personalities in a genuine and authentic manner with notable interviews with John Campbell, Suzy Cato, Mark Hunt, Che Fu and many other well known New Zealanders.
He also hosts the Bakery Run in which he travels around the country finding Aotearoa’s best pies and brings along guests.
South Auckland raised but Naki to the core, Tim mixes his off the cuff humour with the hard hitting reality of growing up in Manurewa.
Tim has a history in youth development and has won many awards in youth work in South Auckland and has been working in the public sector developing strategies in Schools to help youth offenders for over 10 years.
You can catch Tim at Real Talk New Plymouth!

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