Ashley Rutter

Ashley is seeking to empower future students after a BA in History and Māori Studies deepened her understanding of Te Reo, Te Ao and Te Ahurea Māori.

Ashley Rutter in front of native trees

Key facts

Iwi: Whakatōhea and Ngāti Kurī
Programme: Bachelor of Arts
Majors: History and Māori Studies

"Kia ora, my name is Ashley and I was born and raised on Auckland's North Shore. With the encouragement of my whānau, friends, and teachers, I followed my passion for university study in Arts. I applied for a scholarship and enrolled at the University of Auckland due to its accessibility, international reputation and extensive course offerings.

"As an urban Māori with a Māori mother and a Pākehā father, my exposure to Te Reo was minimal so I embraced the opportunity to learn Te Reo, Te Ao, and Te Ahurea Māori at the University. I thoroughly enjoyed my Māori Studies courses and greatly appreciated the supportive whānau environment fostered by the lecturers, teaching staff, Tuākana mentors and peers.

"In every class, we were encouraged not to feel whakamā (shy), but rather to give everything a try and kōrero mai (speak up).

I highly encourage all students, no matter what discipline you are studying, to take a Māori Studies course at some point.

"Studying History has expanded my worldview and allowed me to make better sense of the world we live in today, while deepening my understanding and appreciation of the past. One of the best lessons I learnt is not to judge the past by today's standards, but rather to acknowledge the past for what it was, with all its idiosyncrasies.

"I frequently attended Tuākana History workshops where mentors provided āwhina (support) to students. Tuākana mentors proofread my work, providing valuable feedback before submission, which gave me confidence in the quality and integrity of my assessments.

"Studying here and engaging with the exceptional teaching staff has motivated me to pursue a teaching career and I have been accepted into Ako Mātātupu Teach First NZ for 2021. I want to become someone who inspires, motivates and empowers students to embrace learning."

Ashley is a recipient of a University of Auckland Māori Academic Excellence Scholarship.