Riqi shines light on mental health

By D'Angelo Martin

Riqi Harawira is renowned for the strong messages in his songs. The musician of Te Aupōuri, Ngāpuhi and Te Rarawa descent has released his new track which highlights mental health.

Harawira says, "It deals with some pretty hard-hitting, nitty issues that face not only Māori but it does shine light on some of the experiences and things that I've seen as Māori growing up."

"Recidivist defending, incarceration poverty consciousness, unemployment, mental health - all of these issues, some of what I've experienced myself," he says.

Throughout his upbringing, Riqi turned to music as a way of escaping his reality.

"I believe in building music as in "That's my whare." I build music, I build songs and that's where I keep my whakaaro. The guitar becomes my taiaha!"

The proceedings from his single will go to the Safe Men, Safe Women and Safe Family organisation.

Harawira says, "What they do is they provide services and robust programmes for people who are dealing who are recovering from abuse. Whether that be from domestic violence or addiction."

Harawira encourages people struggling with mental health problems to see their doctor.