I’m getting my Masters of Law, focusing on rights for indigenous people. Being part of an indigenous population myself and the support I’ve had from my iwi has inspired me on that path. I want to contribute my skills to the collective identity I’m part of.
It’s another way of seeing the world. New Zealand is a bicultural place and both Māori and Pākehā viewpoints are equally valuable. It’s important for students from any background to understand and embrace our unique dualist environment.
The world has become smaller. Global business and travel means we come into closer contact with other ways of life and belief systems. Having empathy and appreciation for other cultures is a very useful skill for anyone’s future.
It’s always great to earn recognition for hard work. I wasn’t the most academic person throughout high school, nor in my first few years of uni. But I’ve realised that doing well goes beyond my personal awards to seeing the wider impact they have on others.
"Being part of an indigenous population myself and the support I’ve had from my iwi has inspired me on that path. I want to contribute my skills to the collective identity I’m part of."
There are lots of student services. For Māori students there’s Te Akatoki, the Māori students’ association, Te Pūtairiki Māori Law students’ association, and the Māori Development Team. All the lecturers at Aotahi, the School of Māori and Indigenous Studies, are passionate about what they do. The way they deliver learning is in a way that’s been a good fit for me.
Aotahi is set up to be accessible. There are always students studying in the foyer, practicing performing arts, just having a good time. Looking more broadly, I really like the fact that we’re all on one campus. There’s a strong sense of Kotahitanga, or oneness here.
In my first year, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. It’s important to keep an open mind when you start. Have goals, but remember that they can be reassessed and change shape. Take time to figure out where your passions do lie and then follow that.