'A no brainer' - Māori tech innovator joins Mike King's I Am Hope charity

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

Ngāti Kahungunu & Ngāpuhi businessman Sir Ian Taylor is moving from technology innovation to mental health awareness, joining Mike King's I Am Hope charity.

“I have always admired the work Mike has done and have witnessed his passion as he has regaled against what he sees as young people being marginalised, branded, or simply ignored at a time when what they need most is someone to talk to,” says Taylor.

Taylor’s announcement to join I Am Hope comes as the charity plans for its growth by appointing new board members.

“The fact that all the other members on the board give their time for free, in line with Mike’s kaupapa, made this a no- brainer for me,” he says.  

The youth mental health charity is known for giving free counselling to youth through a number of initiatives, in particular its annual event Gumboot Friday.

The most recent Gumboot Friday event raised over $3 million in donations, all of which will go to counselling funds.

Taylor is the founder of Animation Research Ltd, which is internationally known and is one of the top computer animation companies in the country, working with television advertising and sports graphics.

He is a former television presenter and was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to broadcasting, business and the community.