Ngā Uri Taniwha o Hinekōrako, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitāne, Rongowhakaata, Te Iwi Moriori
Raihānia is a farmer, community leader, cultural capacity and Treaty of Waitangi educator, waka hourua sailor/ captain, trainee navigator, and social / environmental activist.
Born and raised on his whānau land, Raihānia has always felt a strong affinity with the natural world within which he understands and lives his culture. He has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Ecology and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Māori Studies and Te Reo Māori, however, he attributes the bulk of his knowledge base to a vast array of rich experiences including captaining the 10 month Sustainable Sea-Transport project from Fiji to Palau in 2013.
Raihānia’s culture informs him of his kaitiakitanga (guardianship) obligations and responsibilities as tangata whenua and tangata moana. His passion for environmental and cultural justice has led Raihānia to many places including the United Nations Oceans Summit in 2017 where he delivered a petition against deep-sea oil exploration to the Norwegian Government after campaigning along New Zealand’s eastern sea-board. He captained his iwi’s (tribe) traditional voyaging canoe Te Matau a Māui offshore 250 nautical miles to deliver a statement on behalf of 80 hapū (sub-tribe) to the largest seismic blasting vessel in the world. The following year the New Zealand Government banned all new offshore drilling permits.
Raihānia is now involved in a number of local and national cultural and environmental organizations including Ihirangi which is working with iwi and hapū to develop their climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
If you can’t find Raihānia on the ocean, you may find him milking his house cow, tending his garden, or mulching the many native trees on his small block of land.