Mate lives in Tautira Village, Tahiti, where he works in agriculture. He first encountered the Polynesian Voyaging Society during Hōkūleʻa's maiden voyage to Tahiti in 1976, when his community hosted crewmembers of Hōkūleʻa. On the first leg of the Worldwide Voyage, from Hawai'i to Tahiti, Mate served as Fisherman on Hōkūleʻa.

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