Maaka McKinney has served in the New Zealand Army for over 20 years and has deployed to a variety of countries and continents within his service. He has been a vegan since the beginning of 2018. Now a career firefighter and a Territorial Force soldier, Maaka finds all of his food source, nourishment and energy from plant based living. “I became a Vegan to promote healthier living options for Maori and Pasifika whanau. Our health rates in Aotearoa are sadly appalling. Healthier options through education about veganism will support healthier living and life longevity for our people.” In 2018 he was New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Volunteer of the Year, the Northlander Sergeant  carries four pagers – he’s on call 24/7 to Coastguard Tutukaka, the Rural Fire Service, St John Ambulance, and his local fire brigade. He also raises awareness and funding for NZDF personnel and first responders who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.