Pouaka Te Pirihi Parore

“I knew that tertiary education could give me this key so I wanted to pursue it.”

Bachelor of Commerce and Administration, majoring in Economics and Information Systems.

Asked what led him to tertiary study and Pou Te Pirihi Parore offers this Māori proverb: Ko te manu e kai i te miro nōna te ngahere, Ko te manu kai i te mātauranga, nōna te ao. It translates as: The bird that eats the miro berry owns the forest. The bird that feasts on knowledge owns the world.

For Pou that means he has to have an education to get anywhere in the world.

“I knew that tertiary education could give me this key so I wanted to pursue it.”

Pou is majoring in economics and information systems so wanted to study at a university that is passionate about business.

“Knowing that Victoria offered one of, if not the best business schools in New Zealand made my choice easier. It’s at the epicentre of the capital city, parliament is just down the road, and it’s surrounded by the commercial sector. It’s a place where my passion for business will grow.”

Pou is ambitious about the future he can have with a degree under his belt. He says study has given him tools and experiences that have shaped both his career and who he is as a person.

“It has also widened my horizon to look at how my knowledge can help my iwi and, hopefully, New Zealand, once I have graduated and become an economist.”

Pou says new students should take every opportunity presented to them and “be loud and be heard”.

He says having fun is important too—Pou likes to take time out to play basketball with his friends, work out at the gym, hang out with his girlfriend, or just “chill in the hub”.

“I made lifelong friends in my first year at university and these friends will be there for me when I’m at my lowest and my highest. The whānau at uni has helped me overcome a lot.”

It is important to Pou that he is able to contribute to others who are on the same journey to pursue a university education. This year, Pou is a Wellington Hall Co-ordinator as well as a Campus Coach at Victoria. “I saw this as a chance to help Māori and Pacific Island students feel that they have somebody there for them. I hope I can help them in their journey at university.”