Gumboot Friday raised more than $1.5 million for kids' mental health, even in lockdown. Te Ao Toa's Brooke Ruscoe spoke to Tai Tupou about the importance of this kaupapa.
"It was massive, probably the best one ever," Tupou says. "It's the most we've raised, ever, in three years of Gumboot Friday."
Tupou says the best thing we can do is keep encouraging young people that counselling and talking about things is "totally normal".
“We need to normalise it, to talk more, to make it just like going to the gym,” he says.
Tupou is a youth programme development manager for I am Hope. He was a rising star in rugby and league until he suffered an injury that took a toll on his mental health. In his role, he shares his story with rangatahi throughout the motu in the hope of helping them through tough times in life.