Why did you choose UC?
It chose me! I came to Christchurch to do Engineering, but now I’ve changed to a Bachelor in Commerce. Commerce resonates better with who I am. I prefer managing people as opposed to doing specific tasks.
You’re a scholarship recipient?
Yes, I got a $5000 research scholarship at the end of my second year of study. I researched the history of Te Whare Ākonga o Te Akatoki, which is the Māori Students’ Centre. My job was to collate 30 years of history and create a document that would be useful for future research.
What did you learn from that?
Academically, I learned interview skills and how to do a large scale research project. But the way I grew most was in meeting people and hearing their stories and experiences.
How else have you been involved in Māori culture at UC?
I've spent a lot of time with the Māori Development Team and been welcomed at Aotahi, the School of Indigenous Studies. I also study a lot at the Whare, it’s my home away from home! Last year UC hosted the national Māori Students Conference, Te Huinga Tauira. I helped to organise it. I got to meet so many other Māori students all at different levels of knowledge. The response and warmth was amazing.
It sounds like you’ve really found your way here.
I have. UC has helped me find my identity. I’ve discovered who I am, and that’s been incredibly valuable to my life. It's hard to know where you belong if you don't know who you are.
What’s your favourite thing about being a UC student?
The diverse range of people I get to meet and spend time with every day. Being a UC student goes beyond getting a degree, it’s about personal development and discovering who you want to become.
What does the future hold for you?
Next semester I’m going to start my Masters. I’ve done so well here at UC. The ball’s rolling and I want to continue on with that. I plan on exploring ways to help preserve indigenous culture through emerging technologies. I want to do something that makes a difference.