Awhi Ripikoi - BEd (Teaching) Huarahi Māori

“Switching to Huarahi Māori opens up a lot options for me after graduation.”

Awhi Ripikoi
Awhi Ripikoi

“In my second year studying a business degree, I dropped out of university and quit my job to become a full-time solo parent.

“I have a strong faith in my religion and a connection to this whakataukī: ‘He hōnore, he korōria ki te Atua, ko ia te mātāpuna o ngā mātauranga katoa, ko ia te arepa me te ōmeka o ngā mea katoa’.

“One day, I found a flyer for an information evening at Tai Tokerau Campus and knew right then it was a sign (he tohu). Now, I'm in my third year of the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary at University of Auckland, my daughter is four years old and my learning continues.

“I started my degree in English medium and thoroughly enjoyed that experience. In that time I learned a lot about myself and my capabilities and wanted a challenge, so I transitioned from English medium to Huarahi Māori.

“I love my experience in Huarahi Māori! I learn from kaiako who are fluent in the language, learn from the perspective of Te Ao Māori, reconnect to my roots, and learn more about my career and myself.

“Previously, I had no reo and didn't know my whakapapa, pepeha or what the word ‘tikanga’ meant. Now I can say I can read and write in te reo Māori, although my korero is still on the way. I know where I’m from, my pepeha, and my family has jumped on board with the reo. I am growing as a wahine, mother and kaiako mo apopo.

“Switching to Huarahi Māori opens up a lot options for me after graduation. I can teach in a bilingual setting, kura kaupapa or specialise in te reo Māori, which is something I would like to do further study in. Studying at University of Auckland, which has an excellent reputation globally, also opens up international career options for me.

“I wouldn’t be studying and working now if it wasn’t for the aroha of my whanāu. My mum and my daughter are the spark in my life.”

Awhi Ripikoi is in her third-year of the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Huarahi Māori specialisation.