Faculty of Education and Social Work

Meet our students

Get acquainted with some current students with Māori backgrounds studying a range of programmes.

Angela Te Kiri


Foundation Certificate Tohu Tūāpapa Mātauranga

“It’s always been my dream to be a teacher who really inspires children and makes a difference, but it had been a while since I left school. Doing the foundation year was a real cultural awakening – it also allowed me to ‘warm up’ and prepare myself for the degree by learning academic vocabulary, essay writing skills, and my own learning styles. I’m so far away from where I grew up but the staff and students at Te Puna Wānanga welcomed me and my family, and our marae Te Aka Matua o Te Pou Hawaiki has become like a second home.”

Angela Te Kiri (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu) completed the Foundation Certificate Tohu Tūāpapa Mātauranga and is now studying for a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Huarahi Māori specialisation so she can teach in schools using te reo Māori.

Find out more about the Foundation Certificate Tohu Tūāpapa Mātauranga.

Rihari Wilson


Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Huarahi Māori specialisation

“I decided to become a teacher after realising how influential my own primary teachers had been in my life, including Hēmi Dale - who was one of my pouako at Te Puna. I appreciated the support available in the Huarahi Māori programme from lecturers, and especially the way it is delivered in Māori by Māori for both Māori and non-Māori. I found tutorials in particular really helpful in interpreting educational terms and concepts by relating it to ‘te ao Māori’. My grandfather was a teacher and I have several teachers in my extended family so I guess teaching is in my blood. As a male Māori, I realise I have a unique opportunity to make a difference and look forward to doing that. It’s such a cool feeling to see kids ‘click’ when they understand and learn something new.”

“He kakano ahau i ruia mai i Rangiatea - Te pu o te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa” I am a seed sown from Rangiatea - The centre of Polynesia.

Rihari Wilson graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Huarahi Māori specialisation in 2010. After graduation he accepted a position in South Auckland to set up a bilingual unit at a primary school.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Huarahi Māori specialisation.

Patricia Tauariki


Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Huarahi Māori specialisation

“I decided to become a teacher after working as a teacher aide for five years. I realised that teaching had become a natural passion, but that I needed to get a qualification behind me. The language immersion environment in this programme means that I’m always progressing in my ability to speak te reo Māori. It’s a living language and I enjoy being able to speak it every day – at home, at social and formal events and on the marae. I hope to be a role model in schools and to my family members – and to see my son grow up to speak te reo Māori fluently.”

Patricia Tauariki (Ngāti Haua) is completing a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Huarahi Māori specialisation. She received a TeachNZ Scholarship (Māori Medium) to help finance her studies and was also awarded the Sonny and Mona Riini Memorial Scholarship from the faculty in 2009.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Huarahi Māori specialisation.

Rachel Aranui


Master of Education

After learning te reo Māori at polytech I completed a BA in Maori and Education, but became even more interested in Māori education when my daughter started at kohanga reo and I began a Graduate Diploma in Teaching. I’ve since taught in mainstream, kura kaupapa, and as a supplementary learning support teacher and am presently a full-time student on a teachers’ study award. I have just completed my Postgraduate Diploma in Education and am embarking upon my masters thesis looking at the self-efficacy, classroom connectedness and racial-ethnic identity of tamariki Māori in bilingual classes. I am interested in being part of any research that contributes to educational success for tamariki Māori. When Māori achievement is equal to and above that of other tamariki in New Zealand I will feel that our education system is working successfully.

Find out more about the Master of Education.

Lisa Watson


Master of Education

After working as a kai awhina in kohanga reo I began studying primary teaching at the Tai Tokerau campus in 1995. Since then I have had a rewarding career, teaching within my own rohe and helping establish a Year 7 and 8 Reo Rua Unit within our local secondary school. I also taught for three years at NorthTec as a tutor in Teacher Education, Foundation Studies and Student Learning Support.
This year I am studying full-time to complete my Masters degree in Education examining the factors that facilitate Māori student retention and success in two Northland secondary schools. In the future I would like to be involved in education research about Māori student achievement in mainstream settings and I would also like to continue my role as a teacher and learner, in either secondary or Tertiary education.

Find out more about the Master of Education.

Kimai Tocker


(Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Ruakawa, Waikato Maniapoto)

Doctor of Education Candidate

I began my teaching career in the rūmaki reo (total immersion unit) at Freemans Bay Primary School. Passionate about teaching and learning in te reo Māori, I moved to Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Maungawhau and while teaching at the kura began studying part-time for a Masters degree in Education. When I completed my masters I began teaching as a lecturer at the Faculty of Education and am presently studying for a Doctorate in Education (EdD). My thesis sets out to interrogate the ideas about ‘living as Māori’ that underpin the objectives of kura kaupapa Māori. A selection of graduates from the first kura kaupapa Māori in Auckland are being interviewed in order to develop a critical sense of what ‘living as Māori’ means in the modern world, and the effectiveness of the kura kaupapa Māori in helping them to meet this objective.

Find out more about Doctoral programmes.