Tributes are flowing from family, friends and colleagues of Matua Rāwiri Wharemate, who passed away on Saturday surrounded by his family.

Rāwiri (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou, Tainui, Ngāti Pūkenga) is well known for his extensive experience in the child and youth mental health field. He has been a part of the wider A Better Start, National Science Challenge whānau and a Kaumātua providing support and guidance to the HABITs team for many years.

He has been the Kaumātua of the Werry Workforce Whāraurau Team since 2003 and under his guidance the team has been able to ensure all projects embrace principles and values of the Tiriti ō Waitangi and Whānau Ora, to maintain strong alignment with Māori Models of Care.

Te tangi o te ngākau, te hotuhotu o te manawa mō te ngarotanga nei.  E noho mokemoke tātou i raro i te kapua pouri. Tino mōhiotia ana ia he tangata pūkenga ki te whakaaro mātauranga, ki te atawhai ki te tangata.