"I'm making a difference by giving back to my community."
What brought you to UCOL?
I worked in finance, administration and investment banking for over 20 years, but needed a degree to progress into a management role. UCOL's location and smaller class sizes worked for me. I chose the
Bachelor of Applied Management
because it built on my work history.
What have been some of the highlights for you at UCOL?
I received the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand award in 2016. At the start of the year I knew I wanted that award, so I made it my goal to earn it. I've also worked as a peer tutor. It's been a great experience seeing students' different learning styles and then having to adapt my tutoring quickly to suit them.
You're working on a project with your iwi, Ngāti Kauwhata. What does this involve?
For my third year industry project I'm looking at the feasibility of rebuilding Te Iwa Marae. It was built in 1882, then in 1936 a tropical cyclone hit Manawatu, destroying Te Iwa. Because our hapu didn't have the resources to rebuild it, it's stayed in that condition. I'm going to develop a framework for how it can be rebuilt, which I'll give to the Te Iwa trustees to make a decision.
How does it feel to combine your studies with doing something like this for your iwi?
It's a perfect match. I want to be able to give back to my iwi. My whānau have done it, so I'm following in their footsteps. My sister is on the board of trustees. My brother looks after the river, our awa. So, it's just natural that I gave back as well.
You're a regular in the campus Whānau Room. What makes that a special place?
It's one of those places that right from the moment you walk in, it feels like home. Everyone is friendly and easy going. You get to work with students from all faculties, and bounce ideas off them. We've all become a whānau, which is why I love being there.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
My goal is to secure a senior role in a Māori institution, preferably in education. I also want to become fluent in Te Reo Māori. I'm really looking forward to the future; a future that allows me to use my skills and knowledge to advance our Māori and Pasifika people.