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I WANT TO HELP
GOVERN NZ

Keegan. BUSINESS & LAW
NGĀTI POROU.

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Keegan's Story


As a tuākana and student advisor, Keegan's UC experience sees him mentoring others at the same time as learning the law. Find out more about his journey below.

Law gives you a lot of knowledge which you can use to help people. Ultimately I'd like to go into politics.

We started with cultural classes at Zhejiang Gongshang University. Then we spent a week in Shanghai where we met with some big New Zealand companies.

What do you enjoy most about law?

I love the people side of it, the mix of practicality and engagement. Law gives you a lot of knowledge which you can use to help people. Ultimately I'd like to go into politics so I can make a difference back home.

Where's home to you?

I'm Māori, from an area in the North Island with a really high Māori population. Coming to UC, I've joined the Māori Development Team and have been a tuākana (mentor) and a student advisor. That's how I've found my Māori connection here. The South Island Iwi, Ngāi Tahu, has a lot of mana and I think UC really gains from that. Plus it's been great to find other white Māoris like me!

Tell us about your trip to China.

I was lucky enough to go there for a management paper. I really wanted to experience a culture that's totally diverse from our own. Landing in a city of 26 million people was amazing. You felt like you were in a different world. It was eye opening to see what else the world has to offer, but it also made me treasure what we have here in New Zealand.

What were you studying over there?

Business, culture and strategic planning. We started with cultural classes at Zhejiang Gongshang University. Then we spent a week in Shanghai where we met with some big New Zealand companies. It was super interesting and it made me want to learn more about international law. I'd love to travel as part of my work.

Key learnings you brought home with you?

It gave me a new appreciation for Chinese culture. I know more Mandarin now which enables me to connect with Chinese people in a way that wasn't possible before. That's been the most special thing for me.

Speaking of culture, how do you find the vibe at UC?

UC has a culture of acceptance and compassion. Everyone is really friendly here. Some of my friends at other universities find their programmes quite competitive, but within UC Law we're a team. We're always quick to offer each other a helping hand and we genuinely want to see each other do well.