I chose my Arts and Health Science degrees so I could learn about my own culture as well as other indigenous societies around the world. I'm hugely passionate about my people and I really want to advocate for Māori and other minorities in New Zealand.
I've been really close to the Māori Development Team since I was in high school. Now I’m a tuakana, or mentor, with them. I've also done a lot with Te Akatoki, the Māori Students' Association. I've been to lots of their social and cultural events. It’s like one big whānau. They’re super welcoming and do lots of things to support and bring people together.
Meeting other people who are studying similar things to me has helped me along my path. I describe Te Ao Mārama as my home away from home. To be able to go there daily and connect with people is key to my uni experience. We have deep and meaningful conversations that spring from really random ideas. You feel like you can say anything and be who you really are.
I think it does. Every building has a Māori name. I really enjoy that. Whenever leaders give speeches they include te reo and give homage to the indigenous culture. Even little things like seeing ‘kia ora’ and ‘ngā mihi’ in the emails I receive makes me feel like my culture is really valued here.
"I’ve been able to follow my own passions instead of having a curriculum that’s handed to me. My double degree is quite out of the gate, but at UC they encourage you to push boundaries and study what interests you."
I’ve been able to follow my own passions instead of having a curriculum that’s handed to me. My double degree is quite out of the gate, but at UC they encourage you to push boundaries and study what interests you. I think it really helps you grow as a person. If you study what you love, you’ll love to study it.
The landscape of the university is unique. We are on one campus and there is nature all around. If you are feeling overwhelmed or want to get a breath of fresh air, you can take a break between lecture and studying and sit amongst nature and take in the ‘garden city'.
Kotahitanga, which means 'togetherness, oneness', or Whanaungatanga, which means 'family ties'. At UC you can talk to anyone and find your family away from home.