It’s been a heck of a ride for Zion Tauamiti. After a near-death experience the big-hearted youth worker is back helping the kids of Christchurch – only this time he’s doing it differently.

Tauamiti was in a waiting room at Christchurch Hospital in June 2018 when his body “shut down”. He went into cardiac arrest while awaiting surgery on his elbow. Nurses nearby frantically performed CPR. Tauamiti was rushed to intensive care where he “flatlined twice”.

It was almost a week before he came to, startled to find family gathered at his bedside.

Now a rejuvenated Tauamiti, with help from a star guest, returns to work in Christchurch’s east – a moment captured by Christchurch documentary-maker Gerard Smyth as part of a series Newsroom is running over summer.

The series, called Changing South, looks at life the South Island – the people, the places and how events like the Christchurch earthquake have had a lasting impact.

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