Te Kawa a Māui – School of Māori Studies

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Amber Aranui

Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Waikato
Current PhD candidate

Amber Aranui at Te Papa"Whaia te iti kahurangi ki te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei."

Amber is in the second year of her PhD research that will examine the issues relating to the repatriation and 'scientific research' of Māori and Moriori ancestral remains. "The thesis will examine these issues from Māori and Moriori perspectives. These perspectives have not been studied in detail before so the research will address an important gap in the scholarship on repatriation, especially considering the ethical issues associated with the treatment of the dead." Amber has a background in Archaeology (MA) and Anthropology (BA) and is currently the researcher for the Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation Programme based at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. It is her work in this programme that stimulated her desire to engage in PhD research on this topic. Amber hopes that the research will contribute to the wider knowledge of repatriation and that it will aid in the facilitation of relationships between the scientific community and iwi.

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Te Aka Hamilton-Katene

Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Ruanui and Ngāi Tamaterangi
Current BA/BSc conjoint student

Te Aka Hamilton-Katene holding iPad with digital image of the Waharoa"Whakakīa te kūmete kia maringi noa, koia nā ka whāwhāngia."

Creating software and games that have Māori language and cultural influences is what Te Aka Hamilton-Katene hopes to do when he graduates from Victoria.

Currently in the third year of his journey at Victoria, Te Aka has developed an appreciation for teaching and learning through his involvement as a mentee and then mentor for Te Rōpū Āwhina, and a tutor for te reo Māori.

Studying towards a conjoint Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science, majoring in te reo Māori, Māori Studies and Computer Science, Te Aka has been awarded a place on both the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Science Deans' Lists.

"While the experience of further study has its challenges, I have come to understand that challenges only stimulate development."

"Ki te tūpono koe he maunga teitei, pikiria!"

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Mikaia Leach

Ngāti Konohi, Ngāti Ira, Ngāti Porou
Current BA(Hons) student

Mikaia Leach at ParliamentIf opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door!

I was born and raised in Tairāwhiti (East Coast) surrounded by whānau, mentors and teachers who instilled in me tikanga, my sense of identity and made education a priority. I always knew that going to university was going to be part of my future. Making the decision to go to Victoria was easy – I wanted to live in the ‘coolest little capital’ in the world.

From the beginning, Te Herenga Waka Marae became my second home and the Hau Kāinga and Ngāi Tauira students were my whānau. I was used to this kind of environment, and it made being away from home bearable.

Although I initially pursued a law and Māori Studies degree, I soon found my Māori language and studies niche. I completed my BA and am pursuing a BA(Hons) in Māori Studies.

Studying at Victoria has allowed me to capitalise on my strengths and, most importantly, it has given me options to decide my own future.

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Te Wehi Wright

Ngāti Rangitihi, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngā Ruahine
Current BA/LLB student

Te Wehi Wright"Maintaining a good work-life balance is important and contributes to the successful completion of studies."

I am currently enrolled in a conjoint BA/LLB degree in Te Reo Māori and Law. I am under no illusion that the path to completing them successfully will be easy. What has helped tremendously so far is having the support of the many friends I have made at university as well as the staff who have the same passion as me for their respective interests. Te Herenga Waka Marae has also been a good place to base myself. They provide study facilities, free tea and coffee and cheap lunches for us in a Māori-friendly environment.

I love MAOR 322 because I grew up speaking Te Reo and am now exploring the technical aspects of language, which is like maths with words.

"He ao te rangi ka ūhia, ma te huruhuru te manu ka rere."

"When the sky covers over with clouds, the feathers of a bird can soar through them."

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