Maioro Barton is one of New Zealand’s leading disability advocates, but it came from tough beginnings.
Due to complications during birth, Barton was born with fluid on his brain and was diagnosed with Spina Bifida.
The 28-year old has been a wheelchair user his whole life due to the disability.
Barton is one of the most positive and inspiration people in the disability sector that New Zealand has ever produced, and his success is thanks to a drive which knows so bounds, and continues to grow on nearly a daily basis.
Barton has gathered a large following on social media through his public figure pages that shares his day-to-day adventures as a public speaker, sports lover, disability advocate, and professional wheelchair basketball player.
“I try to inspire people to not dwell on what they may be faced with at times so I just show myself getting out there and living life,” Barton said.
Barton represented the New Zealand U-20 wheelchair basketball side from the age of 13 and says the experience was one of his proudest moments.
“It’s everyone’s goal who plays sport to represent their region, their country, and their family, I have been fortunate to be able to do that for many years.” Barton said.
Barton has a big interest in fitness, and has been under the tutorage of Fit Futures owner David Robson for the last three years.
“David is really knowledgeable and encouraging. He has been able to get me in my best physique since training with him,” Barton said.
Barton also has his hand in public speaking part time.
Barton speaks at Waikato University and WINTEC to students, sharing his experiences living with a disability and doing it his way.
Barton is able to modify his talks depending on the audience his is speaking to.
Barton thanks his parents for raising him no differently to his other siblings, and says that they perhaps even treated him tougher to the norm, something that has served him well facing the various barriers living life using a wheelchair presents.
“My family are everything to me, I don’t know where I would be today without them,” Barton said.
Barton says that the biggest barriers to disabilities is peoples perceptions, something the 28-year old loves to prove wrong.
Barton hopes to one day begin a corporate team building business.