Founder of VOYCE Whakarongo Mai - New Zealand’s first advocacy service for children in the care of Oranga Tamariki
Tupua was one of the thousands of Māori children in state care. At the age of 17, he found himself outside the perimeters of state support and alone in a hospital room after a suicide attempt. From his darkest days came his drive to make a change. He was one of the voices the Vulnerable Children’s Board listened to during the independent review of Child, Youth and Family. He is also the Founder of VOYCE Whakarongo Mai - New Zealand’s first advocacy service for children in the care of Oranga Tamariki.
Tupua set up VOYCE Whakarongo Mai to help give children in care a voice and a place to connect. He believes that isolation should not be an issue in any country, especially one where over 5,000 young people are in the system. He wants to build a culture where young people belong to a system that empowers them. He acknowledges young people as being the future and he wants to help guide them forward so they don’t live through an experience like his.