TUAKANA. MĀORITANGA.

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Hinehou. Arts.
Ngāi Tai

Tell us about your journey to UC.

I graduated from a Kura Kaupapa in Christchurch. To come here and be able to stay true to my Māoritanga has helped me to navigate the university environment. I came to uni because I saw an opportunity to experience a very different style of learning compared to how I grew up. So far, it's been amazing.

What are you studying?

I study a BA in Māori and Indigenous Studies. I’m learning and developing a much deeper understanding of awareness for Indigenous people, culture and the systemic changes that need to be put in place. I never really enjoyed learning History at school, but I now understand the importance of it; and its effect on our people is what motivates me to learn even more! I’m excited to keep going.

Tell us about Te Akatoki and what you do there.

Te Akatoki is the UC Māori Students' Association. Technically we’re a club, but essentially we’re a whānau. Being part of Te Akatoki has helped me so much, to be able to go back to the whare and be in a comfortable space with each other creates such a sense of belonging for us all.

You’re a tuakana, or mentor, as well?

UC Māori – the Māori Development Team (now known as Te Waka Pākākano | Office of the AVC Māori, Pacific and Equity) at UC. My role is to help facilitate school students coming in, to guide tauira / students and help them find the resources on campus. I enjoy being a tuakana as it is less about being a ‘teacher’ and more about bouncing ideas off each other and having fun.

"Being part of Te Akatoki has helped me so much, to be able to go back to the whare and be in a comfortable space with each other creates such a sense of belonging for us all"

How have you grown as a person at UC?

I’ve had to learn a lot of new skills from decent note taking, to time management. I am taking step after step outside of my comfort zone, and I’ve grown to be more confident in myself and my mahi.

Any words of wisdom for Year 13’s?

Coming to uni seems scary, but when you find people you resonate with and make strong connections with newfound friends, it’s an amazing experience. UC is as much about assignments, essays and readings as it is about making connections, socialising and having the best experience in and outside of campus!

What changes would you like to see in the world?

To have te reo Māori and whakaaro Māori incorporated into everything we do in Aotearoa.