Kaeden doing the mahi

Kaeden doing the mahi

Kaeden Watts

Kaeden was raised in Taumarunui, New Zealand, but spent much of his childhood bouncing between various towns in the North Island. Currently, he resides in Dunedin where he studies at the University of Otago majoring in Geography and Environmental Management. Kaeden is especially interested in how the modernization of natural and urban space is affecting the wellbeing of indigenous cultures.

Kaeden attended high school in Napier, where he first experienced the general stigma of being Maori in a predominately New Zealand-European environment. It was this that initially fueled and continues to fuel his passion for cultural activism today. Kaeden attended the WakaNZ: Navigating with Foresight workshop in 2017, where he and 32 other young Maori explored what a preferred future might look like in a post-Treaty settlement New Zealand. This experience solidified his determination to give a voice to indigenous cultures whilst also striving to learn and share the importance of equality in all aspects of life.

Kaeden is currently continuing to work toward creating a more inclusive space for Maori in Dunedin, recently working with the Dunedin City Council to advocate for more indigenous inclusivity in public spaces within the city.