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March 18, 2019 | by  | in VUWSA |
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VUWSA – Nō hea au?

By Te Puawai o Te Atua Waller

Nō hea au?

Kua whakatō tāku kākano ki Rangiātea, ērangi e puawai ana te putiputi ki raro ia Matua te Tapu, a Maunga Taranaki.

My seed is sown into the roots of Rangiātea, yet the flower blooms on the Taranaki mountain.

Wellington City is the extended home for Taranaki. As a university student I find comfort, strength, and resilience in the history of my tūpuna (ancestors). They led a life of passive resistance and peace that went on to inspire the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Daisaku Ikeda and Dr Martin Luther King Jr.


To ask me where I am from, is to ask me whose shoes I have the privilege to walk in.

To ask me where I am from, is to then ask me where I am going.

It is the past that will guide us into the future.


So here I am, a second-year Māori university student on the VUWSA executive as the Engagement Vice-President, living out the visions and dreams of those who paved the way for us.

My education comes from two wells of knowledge. One, being the education of my tūpuna. The other being the western education system. The latter has provided me with many challenges, but I understand that the education of my tūpuna affords me the ability to know my place in the world and how to stay true to my values.

In my role on VUWSA this year, I want to start new conversations and highlight the need to be more diverse in our endeavours. From mental health, to sexual harm reduction, to what’s being said on governance boards, to the community within the university, etc, it is time to bring new solutions to the table.

In 2019, it’s time to change the status quo.

My name is Te Puawai o te Atua. I am a descendant of the Taranaki maunga and I, too, stand tall.

Kia tau te rangimarie ki runga ia koutou katoa,




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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this