Tuesday April 24, 2018   Last updated 00:15AM
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Troubled upbringing leads to helping community
©Permission Tama Eminukutepua 2017

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BERNIE O'DONNELL INTERVIEW 


The Taranaki father who collapsed and died on Saturday evening after a dispute has been hailed for his work addressing youth suicide and violence.

Tama Eminukutepua, 57, collapsed outside his Inglewood home and died at the scene an hour later despite being treated by an ambulance crew.

He was the national chair of Aotearoa Riders Against Teen Suicide - or R.A.T.S. and also the founder of the Taranaki Suicide Prevention Crisis Response.

His brother Radio Waatea General Manager, Bernie O'Donnell says after a troubled youth including spells  in boys homes, jail and gangs, Mr Eminukutepua used his considerable intelligence and leadership ability to address problems in unique ways.

"He was one of funniest and one of the most intelligent men I ever knew and if he had just had a good upbringing and if he had just had the kind of love and support parents give, he would have been something special, but he didn't. He did all the naughty things when he was young that can be expected when a rangatahi doesn't have that kind of support and he was in and out of jails and in and out of gangs but he was always brilliant and in his latter years that started to come to the fore," Mr O'Donnell says.

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