Heather Te Au-Skipworth (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu, Ngati Ruanui, Ngāti Rangitihi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) is the creator, visionary and CEO of IronMāori. She started the multi-sport event in 2009 with only 300 people. Today, it boasts events right across Aotearoa with numbers reaching 6000 participants per venue. IronMāori has also become the biggest club provider into Ironman New Zealand.
The kaupapa was set up to tackle the growing issue of ill health amongst Māori and is proudly open to all people of all shapes and sizes. Heather’s strive for equity isn’t just in the health space. This wahine toa ran for parliament in the last general election and has high hopes to represent her people when the next one rolls around. In this episode Heather talks to us about her inspiration behind IronMāori.
She shares her personal challenges and the experiences she has had with whānau who have suffered with addiction. Heather also talks to us about the realities of running an election campaign, and what she wants to change for Māori should she get a seat in parliament at the next election.
No matter how high you climb the ladder you take people with you. You reach back and you pull people up that ladder with you. Because one day every single one of us will slide down that ladder, and you will need people to help you.
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