Congratulations to Matt Renata, selected as the SWY35 National Leader of Aotearoa!

Congratulations to Matt Renata, who has been selected as the SWY35 National Leader of Aotearoa! 🥳

Massive mihi to everyone who applied, and put themselves forward. It was not an easy decision to make! We’re now currently working through the PY (Participating Youth) selection process.

Here’s a little intro from Matt:

“Born and raised in Te Awakairangi, Wellington. While I will always call Te-Upoko-o-te-Ika my home, my ancestors come from Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Ruapani, Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi and Gujurat.

I attended the Ship for World Youth in 2017 with my amazing SWY29 Aotearoa whānau. I count it a major blessing that I’ll be able to help awhi the upcoming SWY35 delegation on this transformational haerenga, as it was a life changing moment for me as a delegate.

Been involved in youth and community development since 2008 and been involved in a range of kaupapa within these realms since then. I’m currently working as the Pouwhakamana for Zeal Youth Aotearoa and am the Kaiāwhina at World Vision New Zealand, amongst other various roles.

Married to Rach since 2016 who is Ngā Puhi, Japanese and English. We moved to Tāmaki Makaurau in 2019 to complete a Bachelor’s in Indigenous Theology (Māori/Pasifika), a Diploma in Māori Leadership, and a Diploma in Te Reo Māori (level 5). We completed our studies last year in 2022.

These studies were not only transformational for our engagement with young people and the community but has significantly enhanced the way we connect with each other. We have a burning desire to see the nation of Aotearoa lifted up and our people functioning to their full potential.”