Denzel became involved with Duffy in 2018 as he had friends who were Duffy Role Models and since that time he's visited 88 Duffy schools around the country. He currently works as the Principal Advisor Equity (Māori and Pasifika) at The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners where he advocates for better health outcomes for Māori and Pasifika people.
As a youngster growing up, he got into trouble at primary school before moving to East Auckland where he finished his schooling. He became involved with Duffy because he didn’t resonate with the speakers in assemblies at his school because it didn’t match what he’d experienced growing up. He also read a quote that really resonated with him – "Māori kids especially need Māori heroes because they see a lot of negative stereotypes of our people and need to be reminded there are Māori heroes too."
Denzel’s mission as a Role Model is “to catch one kid’s attention and be the ripple that leads to change in their life, or the friend’s life or their family’s life”. He firmly believes in giving back to the community and providing opportunities for our tamariki to fulfil their potential, which starts with reading.
Denzel says “Duffy Books in Homes is such a great programme, with a great team and I feel privileged to be part of the vision Alan Duff created nearly 30 years ago. If you’re thinking of becoming a Role Model, you’re in the right place to affect change.”