All posts by adb108

This is for Grandma

University of Canterbury Māori and Pasifika student Teariki Tuiona graduates with a Master of Education on Wednesday.

He mahi kai hōaka, he mahi kai tangata. He whakataukī tēnei e hāngai anTeariki Tuiono 2a ki a mātou nei mahi i oti ai mātou i tēnei tau. Kō ngā akoranga, he mīharo, ko ngā kaupapa he kai mō te whakaaro. Me mihi ki ngā kaitautoko ka tika, nā koutou mātou i akiaki i poipoia ki roto i ngā mahi huhua o te tau. Tēnā koutou. Ko koutou ngā tauira hou, e tatari ana te manuka hei kawenga mō koutou. Nau mai. Tihei mauri ora!

He mihi aroha ki tōku māmā a Iris putiputi ātaahua o te ao nui Tuiono me tōku whānau whānui

Ko Whatitiri te maunga

Ko Waipao te puna wai

Ko Ngātokimatawhaorua te waka

Ko Te Maungarongo te marae

Ko Ngā Puhi, Ngāi Takoto me Ngāti Ingatu ngā iwi

Ko Te Uriroroi, Te Parawhau me Te Mahurehure ngā hapū

Ko Teariki Tuiono ahau.

I would like to sincerely thank my lecturers for their time and energy. I felt privileged to learn from such esteemed leaders. I believe I now have the tools to educate others on culturally responsive models such as the Educultural wheel and the Hikairo schema. I thoroughly enjoyed our engaging conversations on the role of the Treaty of Waitangi in education, second language teaching strategies and how to develop bicultural frameworks in a multicultural society.

I would like to thank my church family, Te Akatoki Māori Students’ Association, PDT, MDT, staff at the library and staff at the Academic Skills Centre. I felt blessed to know there is support available to help students of Māori and Pasifika descent. Your warmth and kindness is greatly appreciated and has definitely made my stay here in Christchurch an enjoyable one. I would like to especially thank my classmates and close friends that I have made this year. I believe I have made some lifelong friendships and look forward to our upcoming adventures in the future.

To any new and aspiring students who want to come to the University of Canterbury, I have the following warning – you need to have a good balance between social life and academic life. I stumbled in my undergraduate studies because I did not have a good balance between the two and my grades suffered as a consequence. I recommend instead that you plan your time wisely and make sure that when it is time to study, you make a concerted effort to focus and minimise any distractions. In the same token, when there is free time, make sure to have as much fun as possible. Know however, there will be obstacles and life will throw some unknown curveballs in your direction. It will definitely be worth it in the end so never give up.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge my Cook Island grandmother Tangi Te Mata Vaine o Atiu Tuiono because she really loves coming to graduation ceremonies, but unfortunately was not able to be here for this. This Master of Education is for you grandma! Love you!

Nā reira, he nui ngā mihi ki a koutou katoa.

Education is our passport to the future

University of Canterbury Pasifika student Olivia Shimasaki is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts this week. We asked her to share her story with us. Congratulations to all of our graduates this week!

Olivia Shimasaki

My time at the University of Canterbury has been an amazing experience where I have been inspired to learn and grow as an individual.

My first involvement with UC was the 2013 UC Explorer programme. Alongside 100 other year 13 students from around New Zealand I had opportunities to attend lectures, stay in the halls, go on activities, and make new friends. I was also introduced to the Pacific Development Team, which has provided me a huge amount of support throughout my undergraduate studies.

I pursued courses which helped me to expand my knowledgebase and allowed me to question the world around me.  An ability to learn things which I am passionate about and being able to meet like-minded people in lectures and clubs were some of my favourite aspects of university.

My education has been crucial for my future professional path. I intend to continue my studies in the Human Services and Anthropology, in hopes that one day I will be able to use the skills which I have acquired to help achieve positive change and recognise human rights in the wider community.

Despite the late nights, stressed days, and extensive nail-biting over results, it was all worth it. Today, I have my degree; I have goals for the future and a supportive network to help me achieve my future aspirations.

To future students, my advice is, make the most of your time here and take opportunities you are given. As Malcolm X said, “education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

To the tutors, lecturers, and the internship programme who have given me support during my studies, thanks. Specifically, I would like to thank Patrick McAllister, a special lecturer who showed passion and taught me about accepting others, and showed me that with determination and passion, you can achieve your dreams.

I would also like to thank my family, friends, and boyfriend for keeping me sane when assignments got overwhelming, and helping achieve a good study and life balance. To my brother for introducing me to university life, and helping me to recognise the value of time and effort put into work. Most of all, my two biggest supporters, mum and dad – thank you for taking time out of your already busy days for me, giving useful advice, listening, putting up with my moodiness, and reminding me that I am a strong woman who can achieve whatever I set my mind to. Thank you both for your unconditional love and support.

Finally, I would like to give thanks to God, for with Him all things are possible.

Being the best version of ourselves

University of Canterbury Pasifika student Jordan Maher is graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours this week. We asked him to share his journey with us.

Jordan Maher

Straight out of high school at the beginning of 2013 I naively chose to take on the challenge of a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury. If I had known then the trials and tribulations which I would go through over the next four years, testing my willpower, work ethic and learning capabilities, as well as the extremely long nights and brutally early mornings, would I have still done it? Absolutely! Studying Engineering fit me to a tee, challenging me in every way I found stimulating, and always inspired me to do more and progress daily as a person.

Throughout my journey at UC I met and worked alongside some great classmates and was guided by lecturers from a fantastic Engineering department, which I am extremely thankful for. To my close friends and family, my parents, my brother, aunties and uncles, cousins, grandparents and of course my wonderful girlfriend – I thank you all so very much for your amazing, unconditional love and support! I definitely would not be where I am today if not for you all.

Throughout my studies I have not only explored and expanded my academic knowledge and abilities but I have discovered and pursued a true passion of mine, fitness. In high school I was always playing sport, always had a training to go to, and was always active. But when I arrived at university I realised that the things I used to do no longer satisfied my need to push myself and achieve more, leading me in search of a new challenge – marathon running and endurance sports. I have ran four marathons over the last two years and am a soon to be (touch wood) ironman triathlete. The countless hours of training and hard work have really shaped my character to who I feel I truly am, and have also drastically improved my time management skills!

The nature of unachievable greatness in endurance sports as well as engineering studies resonated with me on a number of levels – in that you will never be the absolute best, there will always be someone better or smarter in one way or another, we can only ask to be the best version of ourselves and of that we should be proud.

My advice to future or current students would be this: make sure you do what you love and do it well, try and wake up every morning excited for the day ahead and never be afraid to ask for help. Always apply yourself and even when some tasks seem daunting take them one step at a time and you might just surprise yourself!

Thanks again to my family and UC for this amazing opportunity, now on to the next adventure!