Rereahu Collier

Kaikokiri Ratonga Māori, Pukekohe Library - Auckland

Key Info

Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Rereahu, Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Porou ki Harataunga ki Mataora

  • Bachelor of Social Sciences
  • Māori and Indigenous Studies
  • Psychology

What made you choose to study at the University of Waikato?

I loved the uni culture. The campus is in one location so all of your classes are within walking distance.

What was your favourite subject and why?

My favourite subject was Psychology. Prior to enrolling at uni, I spent a lot of my time observing people. Psychology was a chance for me to study behaviour and take a more in-depth look at how and why people react in certain situations.

What do you love about your job?

Working as a Kaikokiri Ratonga Māori, I manage Māori collections and events. My job gives me a chance to showcase what I've learnt at uni, and apply it to everything I do. I interact with many people of different cultures and enjoy implementing what I learnt in Psychology to assist them. The environment at the library has been so embracing and I genuinely love everything I do.

Tell us about what a typical day looks like for you.

No two days are the same. One day I could be focussed on managing my collections and interacting with my Māori peers, another day I could be talking to the CEO and COO of Auckland Council.

What do you find rewarding about your job?

I take pride in interacting with people who have an interest in my culture, in my Māoritanga. I find being able to share stories and knowledge about my culture increases the use of te reo Māori as well as normalising it, plus being open to express my culture is very rewarding.

Any advice for getting into your sector?

Be passionate – passion is a very strong drive that is favoured wherever you go. Be confident – own whatever it is that you do. And, strive to be the best.

How did your years at Waikato make a difference to you?

My years at Waikato taught me a lot about motivation. Admittedly, I wasn't always very punctual with my assignments, which I'm not very proud of. But I've learnt from that and prepare well in advance now. I've turned a negative into a very valued skill in my workplace.

What do you wish you’d done differently?

I wish I’d done more of everything! I wish I worked harder, I wish I played harder. But I'm also very happy with my experience at Waikato – it has been life changing!

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