Breadcrumbs

Māori Student Profiles


Dara Dimitrov

Gabrielle Kershaw

Manawa Pomare

Season-Mary Downs

Whetu Taukamo

Wi Pere Mita
 
Dara Dimitrov

Dara Dimitrov

Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Rāukawa

Degree:

BMS(Hons), MMS and LLB – Waikato

Statement of Excellence:

I have had a great time here at university even though at times it was difficult to manage whānau and study. I have been very lucky to have been able to use the Maori Mentoring units in both the Management School and the Law School – the support from Te Ranga Ngaku and Te Whakahiapo made the passage to my graduation so much smoother. Moreover from the very beginning the support from the staff members has been terrific – I learned to ask for help early on – and this definitely enhanced the experience.

Favourite Law subjects while studying:

Torts, Immigration, Family Law.

Currently:

I am working as an Accounting and Law Tutor in the Management School while I am completing my PhD. My topic addresses the issues of accountability of charities – a topic that crosses both accounting and law.

Future plans:

I have every intention to work as a university lecturer and a researcher in accounting, law, non-for-profits, indigenous sustainability issues and sustainable development. I also want to inspire and mentor my whānau members that come after me – that as a whānau we have to keep moving forward in education.

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Gabrielle Kershaw

Gabrielle Kershaw

NgātiTuwharetoa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa

Degree:

LLB, LLM(Hons) – Waikato

Statement of Excellence:

Apply the skills of self-discipline, read and study hard but balance the academic with social and other opportunities. Then you will enjoy the whole university experience, make great friends and be happy in your work. Try your hardest and don’t get discouraged if your grades aren’t fantastic..skills and knowledge come with perseverance. Also help others to achieve. Grades aren’t the only thing you take with you when you leave, but experience, discipline and integrity in knowing you did your best and helped others do their best also.

Favourite Law subjects while studying:

Jurisprudence, Laws and Societies, Constitutional Law, Human Rights Law, Family Law, Indigenous Law, Crimes

Currently:

I am currently resting from a long hard year and getting ready for professionals next year which will prepare me for work in the fields I am passionate about.

Future plans:

To work in Human Rights or Family Law. These include areas such as Indigenous Law, Immigration, legal Aid, Community Law Service or where ever I can fight for justice. Being an idealist, I want to make a difference in the world – even if it is with just one person at a time.

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Manawa Pomare

Manawa Pomare

Te Rarawa, Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Pukenga, Ngapuhi

Degree:

LLB/BSc conjoint – Waikato

Statement of Excellence:

“Never regard study as duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs.” - Albert Einstein.

Favourite Law subjects while studying:

Family Law, Maori Land Law, Jurisprudence.

Currently:

I am currently a Solicitor at Youthlaw in Auckland. We provide legal representation/advice for Children and Young People across Aotearoa.

Future plans:

The most interesting cases I am dealing with at the moment are the Criminal and Family ones, so I would probably like to pursue that line of work in future.

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Season-Mary Downs

Season-Mary Downs

Te Kapotai, Ngāti Hine, Ngapuhi

Degree:

BA/LLB conjoint – Waikato

Statement of Excellence:

To encourage students what to do to hang in, Law school. “Studying law is about discipline and hard work. If you know why you want to study law and set yourself goals in terms of what grades you want to get, it will help you to remain focused and get you through. Relationships are also key!”.

Favourite Law subjects while studying:

Treaty of Waitangi, Family Law, Jurisprudence – all the papers with an indigenous rights element – Thats the best thing about Waikato.

Currently:

I am currently based in the Bay of Islands but work for McCaw Lewis Lawyers in Hamilton. I primarily work in Treaty of Waitangi claims processes assisting whanau, hapu and iwi toward the settlement of their Te Tiriti o Waitangi claims.

Future plans:

In 2012 I’m going to finish my Masters!

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Whetu Taukamo

Whetu Taukamo

Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Porou and Ngāi Tūhoe

Degree:

LLM (Hons), BMS – Waikato

Statement of Excellence:

At many points of your legal studies you may question whether the path you have undertaken is worth the effort. Having been there many times here are some answers I discovered for myself: Many have already sacrificed for me to be at law school – what would I tell them? Some who desired to study law were refused entry – what would they do to be in your shoes right now? Harden up! Seek support from friends, academic staff, support/interest groups, mentors or anyone that will listen. In fact, I bet there is someone in the law labs thinking the same right now! Rent a DVD titled The Pursuit of Happiness starring Will Smith. If that actress from Shortland Street can get a law degree surely I can to. Or, if Whetu can get a law degree surely I can to!

Favourite Law subjects while studying:

Legal Method, Legal Systems, Dispute Resolution, Indigenous Governance and Corporate Law.

Currently:

I am currently employed as a Project Manager at Greenstone Group a successful property development and management company whose recent projects include The Base and the Auckland Airport Hotel. My roles include negotiation, service provider engagement and project oversight.

Future plans:

I will continue to acquire the skills and attributes to be a highly effective senior Māori manager. I am eager to give back to my marae, whānau trusts, incorporations, hapū, iwi and the wider society when the opportunity arises.

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Wi Pere Mita

Wi Pere Mita

Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Rongowhakaata, Rakaipaaka

Degree:

BA/LLB conjoint – Waikato

Statement of Excellence:

Te Whakahiapo – Waikato Maori Law Students’ Association provided strong support networks during my time at University. The strong Maori foundations of the Faculty allowed me to maintain my cultural heritage while forming lasting relationships with law students, law staff and legal practitioners all of whom have helped me through my tertiary studies. I received memorable national and international experiences and I encourage all Maori law students to get involved with Te Whakahiapo and other Faculty associations and activities.

Favourite Law subjects while studying:

Treaty of Waitangi, Maori Land Law, and Intellectual Property Law.

Currently:

Currently practising in the area of Treaty of Waitangi Settlements and Maori Land Law at Tamaki Legal in Auckland.

Future plans:

I hope to someday return to the Faculty of Law to pursue a post-graduate degree.

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