Ihirangi Heke, of Tainui-Waikato descent, was raised in the South Island mountain adventure environment, before it was popularly known as such. A graduate of Otago University, he has lectured there and built a career based on helping athletes, both ordinary and elite, achieve goals beyond their expectations. Over the past 10 years he has been active in helping Māori and other indigenous groups abroad, build their own health and wellness activities based on their own traditional environmental knowledge. On any one day of the week you might find Ihi mountain biking with Te Arawa people in Rotorua, playing traditional games with students in Kaikohe, at a trekking meeting in the snow in Japan, or in a virtual meeting with colleagues from Auckland University, Brookings Institute Washington, and a marae in Uawa. This is all part of him joining the dots to enable Māori and other indigenous peoples to define and determine their own health pathways and solutions as defined by their local environments.
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