A Tuakana Kaupapa Māori Approach For Electricity Equality in NZ

Aug. 11, 2022, 3:33 p.m.

Power Equality: Nau Mai Rā calls on Aotearoa to ‘Kia Tuakana’ this winter


More than 200 tuākana have already stepped up to help end power poverty in Aotearoa off the back of the Nau Mai Rā Kia Tuakana video wero launched last this month.  

As the first kaupapa Māori power retailer, Nau Mai Rā is on a mission to support the 130,000 Kiwi whānau struggling to meet their energy payments this winter. Despite the Kia Tuakana viral video gaining more than 40,000 views already, Nau Mai Rā co-founder Ezra Hirawani says the battle is far from over.

“We still need 10,000 people to be tuakana and jump on board the waka with us, so we can make sure no whānau is left out in the cold.”

Hirawani, who is the 2022 Young New Zealander of The Year, says that with winter weather, inflation, and industry price hikes, whānau are being hit harder than ever.


“There are times when life calls on us to be a tuakana and help others in need. With thousands of whānau having to make the choice between running hot water, or heating their homes – one of those times is right now.


Energy hardship a matter of life and death this winter

Health Navigator lists respiratory illness as the third leading cause of death in Aotearoa. And the EHINZ has said that cold housing may contribute to unnecessary winter deaths. 

“Cold and damp housing can worsen asthma symptoms, and is also associated with an increased risk of asthma development and respiratory tract infections.” - (EHINZ)

Matua Hirawani said, “With energy hardship and cold homes having a direct link with ill-health, we need people to step up. No one should be forced to choose between cooking kai or washing clothes, keeping the lights on in the whare or their whānau warm.

While we fight for system change, right now, we call on you, tuakana mā, to reach out that hand.”

The Kia Tuakana wero calls on 10,000 people to move power companies and join the Nau Mai Rā waka. Through the pay-it-forward approach, 10,000 tuakana customers will contribute $20,000 a month to the ‘Whānau Fund’, going towards bills for those currently struggling to meet payments. 

Nau Mai Rā Co-founder Ben Armstrong says, “It’s not about the haves and the have nots. Paying it forward and being a tuakana is about recognising that we will all have times in life when we need a bit of support. So when you’re in a position to be a tuakana and give that support, it’s time to rise to the kaupapa.


“We are getting closer to our goal of all whānau being warm this winter - but right now we still need whānau to click our Join us now link to turn that support into meaningful action, and change lives.”

To support the Kia Tuakana wero and to find out more, go to www.naumaira.nz/tuakana, Facebook, and Instagram.

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