Nicholas's Arts studies led him to make a meaningful difference through kaupapa Māori community research.
Career: Research assistant, James Henare Māori Research Centre
Iwi: Ngāi Tūhoe
Programme: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Master of Arts
Specialisation: History and Asian Studies
“I am a research assistant at the James Henare Māori Research Centre, where I assist the director – Associate Professor Marama Muru-Lanning – and the James Henare research team on a number of health and technology projects. My role involves conducting and analysing community research, transcribing, archiving research, and contributing to some of our research outputs.
“The biggest misconception about an Arts degree is that it is largely theoretical with little impact beyond academia. One of the highlights of my role has been meeting many inspirational kaumātua during my time conducting community research, and many researchers and academics from diverse backgrounds. Each have brought with them new perspectives and ideas of which I have academically and personally grown from.
I love working with a close team of experts in ethical kaupapa Māori community research that contributes meaningfully to hapū and iwi. This also provides me with an avenue to further deepen my sense of Māoritanga.
"With my Arts degree, I gained skills in writing, critical thinking, data analysis and archival research. I have been given many opportunities to develop these skills furter through co-authoring articles and reviews with members of the James Henare research team.
“I have been interested in Māori and Japanese history since I was a child, and this passion stayed with me into my early adulthood. I knew an Arts degree would allow me to explore and investigate these interests deeper, as well as learn new ways of thinking about our past. This is why I was drawn to the University of Auckland: It offers a diverse range of courses in the fields of history and cultural studies.
“The advice I would give to students thinking of studying Arts, is that lectures and tutorials are just the beginning. You should take time outside of these to expose yourself to a diverse range of thoughts on a topic, whether it be by reading an article or discussing it with a friend. It might give you a new perspective.”