Iwi: Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato
Qualifications: BSc, LLB
Kāwhia Moana, Kāwhia Kai, Kāwhia Tangata
I have a passion for the advancement of Māori, in particular my iwi Ngāti Maniapoto and Waikato. Having practiced in the law for a number of years in particular appearing before the Waitangi Tribunal I had a desire to learn to speak the reo. Whilst improving my reo will help with my mahi the main reason I wanted to learn to speak te reo so I could interact with my tūpuna in their reo, and so I could pass on the reo to my children. The reason I chose to study the reo at the University of Waikato was because of the excellent reputation of the Te Tohu Paetahi course and because of the format of the class; full immersion from 9am - 3pm.
Having made the decision to return to study I have no regrets. The course provides students of all abilities to extend the abilities. The course provides a challenge particularly for those like myself who only had a limited grasp of the reo before the class, however the support of kaiako and fellow classmates ensured I made it through the course.
For anyone who has a passion to learn te reo Māori and are weighing up whether to take the plunge I would thoroughly recommend this course.
I currently work for local law firm McCaw Lewis specialing in Waitangi Tribunal claims, Māori Land law, Treaty settlements and Māori commercial work. I am heavily involved in the Waitangi Tribunal’s Te Rohe Pōtae District Inquiry and also have experience in commercial work, particularly leasing Māori freehold land. The skills I learnt studying Te Tohu Paetahi have meant I am able to more easily able to engage with my clients and whanaunga.