Ezekiel is an experienced leader and advocate in the disability community, based in Auckland. He is currently engaged in governance and advisory roles, and community projects in the health and disability sector.
Ezekiel has experience of vision impairment and an active interest in citizenship, civic participation, human rights and equity. He is dedicated to enhancing respect and inclusion in society for all disabled people.
Previously, Ezekiel has supported the DPA as a regional coordinator, raising awareness of the UNCRPD and strengthening the voices of all people with lived experience of disability to influence change.
Ezekiel has also been involved with People First – empowering people with learning disabilities to become confident self-advocates and leaders, especially around their employment rights.
Ezekiel brings adult education and group facilitation skills to the Kia Noho Rangatira Ai Tātou team, plus his background in youth work, violence prevention, social change, leadership and community networking.
Jak has lived experience of psychosocial disability, including restrictive practice such as forced psychiatric treatment, solitary confinement and restraint.
Originally from the UK, through the late 80’s and early 90’s Jak worked in inner city London with people living on the extreme margins of society, such as travellers/gypsies, refugees and homeless families.
Moving to New Zealand in 1996, Jak re-trained as an Alcohol and Drug Practitioner. He has developed outreach services for street homeless at the Wellington Alcohol and Drug Service, worked with at-risk youth as a multi-systemic therapist, and as a tenant support coordinator with Wellington City Council.
More recently, he has been the national coordinator for the Convention Coalition, monitoring the implementation of the UNCRPD. He occasionally contracts to the Ombudsman Office, accompanying the Convention Against Torture Team on unannounced visits to places of detention.
Jak is a representative for Ngā Hau e Whā, the national organisation that champions the voice of persons with lived experience of psychosocial disability.