Rangatahi representative on the Te Tatau board, Te Mauri Kingi (Te Arawa, Tainui, Tuhoe), is making his mark in digital multimedia.
At just 21, he’s a director at 4CompanyB – alongside board member Potaua Biasiny-Tule – a new animation studio in Rotorua, specialising in digital storytelling, animation, illustration and digital Māori tourism. He’s always had an interest in making things, and indeed, feels fortunate to be able to go into the office every day to build his dream job as an animator and storyteller.
While he says he brings “good looks” to the Te Tatau table – his quiet yet cheeky sense of humour reminiscent of his late father, respected Te Arawa leader, Mauriora Kingi – he certainly contributes a hell of a lot more, including an ability to help people change the way they think.
He helped coordinate a very successful Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori event last year at the Rotorua Night Market and is brimming with ideas to help nurture local rangatahi. Over the next two years, he’d like to see more exposure for our rangatahi, to help them dream about the kind of lives they can lead.
“I want to help them understand where they come from and the responsibility they have to people and place. Hopefully making them see that being Māori is the greatest thing in the world,” he says.
Te Mauri’s favourite thing about being from Te Arawa is the feeling of connection and belonging.
“A dream you dream alone, is only a dream. A dream you dream together is a reality. I dare us to come together and dream about a future that we want as Te Arawa.”