Georgia Naera

Georgia [Te Arawa (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Uenukukopako), Tainui (Ngāti Maniapoto), Ngāpuhi (Ngāti Hine)] is studying a BE(Hons) in Mechanical Engineering.

“I originally wanted to study Architecture because of how much I enjoyed Graphic Design in high school, but my mum convinced me to do Engineering by telling me that engineers will have the final say on whether an architect’s final designs can be built or not. At a University Open Day, I was told that I could always switch if I didn’t enjoy Engineering after my first year.

“I applied through MAPTES and was accepted in my first year, and I would pursue Civil Engineering so I could become a structural engineer. I ended up failing some papers in my first year, but something told me not to give up and to keep trying. It may have been my pride and I figured I’d do better once I chose a specialisation, so I ended up repeating the papers while working part-time.

“I also attended careers development workshops that helped me realise what I was good at and enjoyed, and decided on Mechanical Engineering. I enjoy their papers because it’s practical and applicable to everyday stuff. I’m open with where I’ll end up, though hopefully it will be along the manufacturing, design, or mechanics of materials pathways.

“I’m a member of SPIES (South Pacific Indigenous Engineering Students) and NTM (Ngā Tauira Māori). It’s helpful being surrounded by like-minded students with similar timetables and interests as you. I’ve also spent a lot of time doing sports. For the last three years, I’ve represented Engineering, the University, and New Zealand in Hawaii for the Queen Lili’uokalani long distance regatta. Every year we lose some paddlers and gain some new ones. Some join us who have never tried it before, but every year they make me proud and I can’t wait to paddle again this year!”