Ten finalists have been selected for the DIGMYDIEA Innovation Challenge, competing for a $10,000 worth of support to make their ideas become a reality. Te Kāea caught up with two of the hopeful participants vying for the top spot.
After 35 years of activism and community work, Elizabeth Kerekere (Ngāti Oneone, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Whānau a Kai, Rongowhakaata, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri) is best known for her work for takatāpui (Māori LGBTIQ) and Rainbow communities, Treaty advocacy and youth development. She is a specialist in strategic planning, policy development and project management. She will be running against the sitting MP Meka Whaitiri of Labour and Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox.
Kerekere is also an artist, having her work exhibited internationally. She is founder and Chair of Tīwhanawhana Trust (takatāpui well-being). She sits on the board of LAGANZ (Rainbow archives), the Intersex Roundtable Working Group with ITANZ and the Human Rights Commission. She mentors LGBTIQ youth leaders; and is Co-chair of Ara Taiohi (peak body for youth development), Bicultural Advisor at Te Ohaaki a Hine - The National Network Ending Sexual Violence, Rainbow Voice, the 'It’s Not OK' Campaign; and is Assistant Research Fellow for the LGBTIQ Homelessness Project.
Elizabeth cares deeply about suicide prevention, anti-violence, healthy relationships, and housing for all. As a kaupapa Māori enthusiast she promotes strength-based cultural approaches to the needs and aspirations of whānau and community.