Helping people makes me happy

Tohoa Tetini (Mahmah Timoteo) graduated this week with a Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in Anthropology and Sociology. Before deciding on her degree she needed to answer an important question.

TohoaAttempting to come up with something to write in these pieces can prove extremely challenging. It is like trying to create a quote for your end of year graduation yearbook. You don’t want it to be cliché and mainstream but you also don’t want it to be something your mother will disapprove of. In an effort to find the middle ground, I would first like to pose a question, and a pretty loaded one at that. What makes you happy? It was this exact question that I was forced to confront as a Year 13 student whilst sitting in the English room. I had everything planned out. I was going to complete a Commerce degree at the University of Canterbury, earn more money than I knew what to do with and eventually, build an empire. However, as I sat in that English room and contemplated my future, I realised that the only thing that really fueled that goal was the pursuit of money. As I began to explore this revelation more in-depth, that same question kept re-occurring. What makes you happy?

And just like the final scenes of ‘The Prestige’ (this is a magnificent film which I encourage you to watch), everything became clear. People make me happy, or more importantly, helping people makes me happy. Money and material goods can only bring a person so much joy. Whilst I planned to build my empire around wealth and consumption, families were losing their homes, children were dying of hunger and the environment was in the process of rapid degradation. Once I realized this, my intentions changed. It dawned upon me that my future was to be focused around human rights and the prosperity of those who have yet to have their voices heard. So here I am, graduating with a double major in Sociology and Anthropology, in hopes that the skills and opportunities that I have taken will guide me on a path to better understand the world around us and in turn, finding solutions or alternatives to the critical issues we face today.

At the end of the day, in order to be successful at university, you must first open your mind to the idea of happiness. Contrary to popular belief, studying at university can actually be incredibly exciting and rewarding. But first, you have to discover yourself. I would like to thank my family for all their love and support over the last few years. I would especially like to thank Mother Bear for all her kind words and cuddles. I love you.

From Samoa to Canterbury – my UC journey

Tauli Aperaamo arrived at the University of Canterbury in 2013 as a 17 year old from Samoa on an NZ Aid scholarship. Since that time he has immersed himself into life at UC, getting involved with university rugby and the University of Canterbury Samoan Students’ Association (CUSSA). He graduates this Friday with a Bachelor of Science. We asked him to share his journey.

Talofa lava, o lou igoa o Tauli. I’m an international student from Samoa finishing a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry.

Tauli AperaamoThese last three to four years of my undergraduate career has flown by so fast, and it still amazes me how far I’ve come through pursuing my dream. I am so grateful for the experiences and challenges I’ve been through and the people I’ve met along the way. I know that it has helped me become the strong, passionate, and driven person I am today. I’ve had my fun, I’ve gotten involved and made a great amount of memories.

I’ve always wanted to make a career in making a positive change in the wellbeing of my people and my country, so I began to dedicate myself to science. What really caught my attention and interest was studying the biochemical processes in living organisms and human beings. Biochemists are responsible for significant contributions to the fields of medicine, pharmacy, and agriculture. Moving from Samoa to New Zealand and deciding to study Biochemistry at UC was a perfect choice, because of its Biotechnology programme. Working in the lab is always a fun experience and I thoroughly enjoy the field of medicine and drug design.

Tauli Aperaamo 2I spent my first year in the University Hall with some fellow local and international students, and got involved in a lot of student clubs and UC events. Being away from home for the first time was a huge challenge, however it did not take long to adjust myself into a totally different culture by having good friends, with amazing support from my Pasifika Community, Student Development Team, the UC Rugby team and my Church.

God has been so good to me, he has been the source of my strength, courage and so much more throughout life. I also owe it to my family especially my parents who have raised me up to be the person I am today.

To the Pacific Development Team you guys are a blessing! Your support has made me a stronger person and I will forever be grateful. No doubt you are going to miss that one person who eats all your food.

So what’s next? Well, I am more than ready for what life has to offer and ready to do whatever it takes to find my place in life. I am hoping to land my dream job in the medical diagnostic laboratory in Samoa. I will continue to put my best foot forward, work hard and never give up on my dreams.

So for all you out there graduating, I wish you the best of luck in this big bad world of adulthood. Keep an open mind, take advantage of every opportunity that is given, and be the best you can be.

Alofa atu

Tauli Aperaamo

Update: Uni-Cycle work, University Drive one-way extended

Many of you will have seen construction work is progressing on the Uni-Cycle Major Cycleway route along University Drive. The next stage of work is due to start tomorrow (15 December) and will see the current one-way system in place on University Drive extended.

  • When extended the one-way system on University Drive, heading east towards Clyde Road, will be in place between the Health Centre pedestrian bridge (opposite the ICT car park) and Clyde Road. (See image below)
  • A 20km/h speed limit will be in place through the one-way section for the duration of the works.
  • There will continue to be no entry from Clyde Road onto University Drive.
  • Two way traffic will remain on University Drive between Ilam Road and the Health Centre pedestrian bridge/ICT car park.

Car park access

  • Vehicles coming from Clyde Road should continue to access the Clyde Car Park via Arts Road. Vehicles exiting the Clyde Car Park onto University Drive will not be able to turn right (towards Ilam Road) – left  turn only towards Clyde Road.
  • Access to the Law Car Park will be via Ilam Road and the west entrance/exit (near the Music building) only. The east entrance/exit (closest to Clyde Road) will be closed. Vehicles exiting the Law Car Park will not be able to turn right (towards Ilam Road) – left turn only towards Clyde Road.


  • The footpath on the southern side of University Drive between the Health Centre bridge and Clyde Road will be closed.
  • Please walk through campus via the signed detour route (see image below) or via Kirkwood Ave when heading east or west between Ilam and Clyde roads.
  • Access across all three pedestrian bridges (UCSA, Health Centre and Recreation Centre) will remain open.


  • There is no access to University Drive from Clyde Road. Please use Arts Road or Kirkwood Ave instead, or follow the pedestrian detour.
  • When heading east (towards Clyde Road), cyclists can use the one-way system in place along University Drive.
  • Cyclists travelling between Ilam and Clyde roads (in either direction) can use Arts Road or Kirkwood Ave, or detour through campus.

Please take care when travelling through these areas – slow down, follow onsite signage and look out for others.

These changes are expected to be in place until early February when the project is completed, and the next stage of work on University Drive is expected to start on 9 January. Further information will be provided before the next stage starts – keep an eye out for further updates on Insider’s.

More information about the Uni-Cycle route is available on the Christchurch City Council website.

Uni Drive Stage 2

*Note – this update replaces a previous Uni-Cycle update posted on 9 December.