Kiriwaitingi Rei

Bachelor of Business

Strategic Management, Te Reo Māori

Key Info

  • Bachelor of Business
  • Strategic Management
  • Te Reo Māori

Te Arawa, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Toarangatira, Ngāpuhi

  • Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao Scholarship

What made you choose to study here?

My family were instrumental in guiding me to Waikato to pursue a degree in business and to also further my studies in te reo Māori. They saw that Waikato was the best university in the country for students who wanted to further their studies in te reo Māori and tikanga Māori based subjects and they also have a fantastic Management School.

What’s your favourite subject and why?

Being brought up in a total immersion environment, going from kohanga reo right through to kura kaupapa for 13 years, it was always a given that te reo Māori would become one of my greatest passions.

My favourite subject is te reo Māori because it allows me to retain my knowledge of te reo and further it by understanding the technicality of it in terms of learning the language in a university environment.

Tell us what a typical day looks like for you.

A typical day at uni consists of waking up at Bryant Hall 30 minutes before my lecture or tutorial starts, quickly getting ready and shooting out the door to class. If I have assignments due, a few friends and I will hit the library for a few hours. In the evening, we’ll go to UniRec for an hour or so to do a bit of training or play some netball.

You’ve won Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao Scholarship. Tell us about that.

This year I was fortunate enough to be a recipient of the scholarship. It’s helped immensely with paying for my halls fees.

What do you love about studying at Waikato?

The diversity of people and cultures. It’s amazing to see so many people from all walks of life trying to further their education. I also love how Waikato continues to embrace kaupapa Māori and celebrate the Kīngitanga.

How have you changed in your time at Waikato?

My mind set and the way that I think has matured during my time here at uni. I’ve learnt to be a lot more independent and not rely on my parents as much. You only have yourself to rely on to get your work done because there are deadlines to be met – there will be consequences to your grades if they aren’t met.

Any tips for making the most of uni life?

Network with as many people as you can and enjoy your time at uni. My parents always told me that uni is the last step before fully moving into adulthood and to just enjoy it and have fun.

How do you think you can make a difference through your studies?

I hope that through my studies I will be able to share what I’ve learnt with our Māori people and, most importantly, our rangatahi Māori. I hope to ignite a spark within them to further their education at tertiary institutes while ensuring they still hold strong to their te reo Māori and to their ao Māori – the base that grounds us as a race and, at the end of the day, is who we are.

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