There are three main reasons Haimona Te Nahu chose to study at the University of Waikato: because it’s where his parents studied, it’s close to home and it has a strong cultural focus.
He says during his study, some of the things he’s enjoyed the most have been the involvement with his “whanau away from home, being Te Whakahiapo Māori Law Students Association and Te Hunga Roia Māori in Wellington, Rotorua and Tauranga”.
National Māori Moots
“And also winning the National Māori Moots was a highlight for me. The friendships I’ve made throughout my time here have been awesome.”
During his study, Haimona was part of Te Āhurutanga Māori Student Leadership Programme, a programme that fosters leadership qualities.
“Tikanga Māori and te reo Māori play a huge part in identifying leadership qualities. The programme brought to my attention opportunities for Māori throughout the world to be leaders in all aspects of life, and how this leadership can contribute to the betterment of the world.”
Originally from the East Coast, Haimona grew up in Rotorua, attending Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ruamata. He has iwi affiliations with Rongomaiwahine, Ngati Kahungunu, Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Tuwharetoa, Tuhourangi, Te Whanau o Hunara, and Ngati Porou.
Haimona says a number of his whanau will be at graduation, and that he will be “proud and happy” to have them there.
“The feeling of achieving what they believed in me is, and will be, overwhelming.”
After graduation, Haimona says he’ll start taking the next steps to achieve his long-term goals, looking to work in a field that enhances his skills in contributing to iwi development, Māori organisations, business and corporate structures and the future of his tamariki.