The 2017 Kupe Scholars are highly talented Māori and Pasifika people who have leadership expertise, and who will be role models of the teaching profession in their communities. These 30 Scholars are high achievers who have the potential to make a real contribution to their student’s long term success.
To find out more about the 2017 Kupe Scholars read the short biographies below.
|Chloe Cull||Lucy Marshall|
|Courtney Joblin||Mahinaarangi Kerehoma|
|Fomai Tivaini Fomai||Makere Te Whanawhana Stirling|
|Gardenia Tafao||Malia Sinisa|
|Tuu'u Grace Rihari||Manaia Ward-Tareh|
|Hinekura Simmonds||Matt Howling|
|Jasmine Pirini||Misikuki Pepa|
|Joanna Parai||Muritere Apiata|
|Josiah Afu||Paiana Whaanga|
|Kalo Senefili||Paora Ranui|
|Kane Johnson||Parekatene Potaka|
|Kararaina Ruri||Reilene Elkington|
|Kataraina Ngairo||Saronna Auina|
|Kathleen Mendes||Stewart Tukerangi|
|Laulalatoa-Sammy Seau||Xavia Fraser|
Chloe Cull comes from an arts background, having previously held curatorial positions at Wellington’s Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt, and at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth. She holds a first class honours degree and a master’s degree with distinction in art history from Victoria University. Her thesis is titled Mana wahine/mana Māori/mana toi: Māori women's art within a kaupapa Māori art history 1980 – 1989. Following in the footsteps of her parents and grandmother, Chloe is currently studying towards a Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning (Primary) at the University of Canterbury. She is excited about this new challenge, and the opportunity to support the aspirations of tamariki and whānau.
With an arts degree, majoring english and media already completed, Courtney Joblin, of Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahungungu, Ngāpuhi iwi is now studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning at the University of Canterbury. Courtney, aged 22, has a love of languages, having studied French and te reo Māori. She has a passion for bringing together her love for languages and culture to help give confidence to learners. Courtney is a tuakana at university, enabling her to support first year Māori students in English studies.
Former Manu Samoa rugby player, Fomai Tivaini Fomai is also a graduate with Hawkes Bay’s Eastern Institute of Technology. He’s also played professionally for Hawkes Bay Magpies. Known by his middle name Tivaini, he is now studying towards a Graduate Diploma of Secondary Teaching at Massey University.
In 2016, Tivaini, along with close friends and rugby players Setu Kereti and Nathan Pulega, set up the Hawkes Bay Samoa Rugby as an incorporated society. Tivaini is chair and coach of their club and their aim is to help create opportunities for young rugby players to get exposure and play outside of the season. He’s a forwards coach for the Hastings Rugby and Sport Premiers and a mentor and rugby coach at Hastings Boy’s High rugby academies. Last Christmas, his wife Moira nominated him for the Hawkes Bay Today Person of the Year Award, citing his selfless attitude to life and being a role model to youth in Flaxmere. Tivaini is a member of the Hawkes Bay District Health Board’s Pacific Leadership Group. He is currently Mr December in the Flaxmere Heroes Calendar 2017.
A New Zealand-born Samoan, Gardenia was raised on a farm in the small rural town of Waiuku. Gardenia is in her third year of a Bachelor of Education at Te Wananga o Aotearoa. She is passionate about being a primary teacher and being a role model for Pasifika children in the school system. Her cultural values as a Samoan are important to her, and faith plays a key role in her life. As a student teacher, she has completed practical placements in South Auckland primary schools. She plays piano and guitar and loves supporting her husband and children in sports.
Twenty-one-year old Grace Rihari is in her second year of study towards a Bachelor of Teaching in Professional Education. Her passion lies with teaching and staying physically active. As a member of the Tainui Women’s Welfare League, she is an advocate for the improvement of Māori health and wealth. For the last four years, she has worked at Hamilton City Council’s Water World as a learn to swim teacher helping children and people from around the region. She’s also worked as Water World’s children’s holiday programme supervisor.
University graduate and early childhood teacher Hinekura Simmonds holds a master's degree with first class honours in psychology from The University of Auckland. Her university research focused on Māori youth development. Fluent in Te Reo Māori me ona tikanga, Hinekura has a passion for growing young children with a positive Māori identity. Previously at the University of Auckland, she led a team of mentors for Māori and Pasifika students studying psychology. In this role, Hinekura realised the diversity of experience for Māori in this world. This has helped her in becoming an early childhood teacher. She is now studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Teaching in Early Childhood Education through Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand. Hinekura is also a leader in the Māori Anglican Church in the central North Island district.
An environment conservation educator and mother in North Hokianga, Jasmine Pirini has a lifelong interest in the well-being of children and education. She is in her second year of study towards a Bachelor of Education degree at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi. Six years ago she founded a playgroup. Combining her passion for enhancing Māori children’s learning and for the environment, she’s keen to be the kind of teacher that exposes her students to the environment, outside of the constraints of classroom learning. She affiliates to Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri and Ngāti Hine and previously worked as an iwi researcher.
Porirua resident and university graduate Joanna completed a Bachelor of Arts in History and Women’s Issues last year. She is currently enrolled at Victoria University’s Graduate Diploma of Teaching Secondary School Programme. The motivation for Joanna’s desire to be a teacher is fuelled by less than positive learning experiences growing up. She has made a commitment to learn more of her Māori identity, the language and culture. After living and working in Australia for several years, Joanna has returned to Aotearoa to study towards her teaching qualification and help look after whanau.
Nineteen-year-old Josiah Afu is in his second year at the Auckland University of Technology studying towards a Bachelor of Education in Primary. With a mother who has been teaching for over 20 years, it’s had a big influence on his decision to be a teacher. His goal is to be a passionate and memorable teacher. Josiah’s school life shows many examples of leadership and it’s influenced his decision to become a teacher. At the age of 18, he accepted the head coach position for the Hobsonville Point Secondary School rugby team. He attended Aoga Fa’a Samoa in Richmond Road as a toddler and credits his grandparents with teaching him the value of language and cultural identity.
In 2016, Kalo was awarded Auckland University of Technology’s Māori and Pasifika High Achiever Award from the Faculty of Culture and Society. She is in her third year of study towards a bachelor’s degree in Pasifika Education in early childhood teaching. Born and bred in New Zealand, Kalo’s school experiences as a half caste Tongan-European student have inspired her to become a teacher. She aspires to become a teacher who encourages and nurtures a child’s sense of belonging and identity to help them succeed, without any boundaries holding them back.
A proud descendant of the Far North, Kane is of Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Kahu and Ngai Takoto descent. His tipuna (ancestor) Wiremu Hoani Taua was the first Māori head teacher of a native school. He is in his second year of a Bachelor of Primary Teaching at Otago University. He has previously worked in community organisations, in social media, HR, youth, community work and retail management. Born and bred in Invercargill, Kane is married to primary school teacher Raiha, a former graduate of Te Pōkai Mātauranga o te Ao Rua. They have three children aged 18 to 4 named Taila, Ngakau and Mahae.
Twenty-two year old Kararaina Ruri is in her second year of a Bachelor of Education degree in Primary Teaching at the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. The daughter of a school teacher, Kararaina would like to follow in her mother’s footsteps. She wants to be the kind of teacher her mother was, always caring about her students and influencing her students for good. A proud Tuhoe daughter, Kararaina maintains close contact with iwi activities and returns as often as she can to Tūhoe. One of Kararaina’s proudest moments was being part of her iwi during the historic Crown settlement process in July 2008, representing her grandfather in Parliament at the signing of the Terms of Negotiation.
A teaching assistant (kaiawhina) at Te Kohanga Reo o Whareroa in Mount Maunganui, Kataraina is in her second year of teaching study. She is studying towards a Bachelor of Education in Teaching at Te Whare Wānanga o Awainuiārangi. Raised by her Nan and koro in Tauranga Moana, Kataraina, who is a mother of one child now attending kura, was raised according to the traditional Māori customs and traditions of their marae near the sea. She went through the mainstream school system in Napier and then attended kura in the Mount where she continues to maintain customs and traditions in her teaching practice, always speaking te reo Māori. Becoming a qualified teacher is a childhood dream for Kataraina who draws inspiration from her number one role model, her grandmother, and inspiring teachers who taught her. The 25-year-old student teacher affiliates to Ngai Te Rangi, Te Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi and Ngāti Kahungungu.
A former assistant accountant, Kathleen is in her second year of the He Korowai Akonga Bachelor of Education from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. A highly motivated mature student, she has always known the value of education and becoming a kaiako/teacher is a fulfilment of a lifelong dream. She aspires to be a teacher that creates a culture of care within her classroom. She aspires to be the kind of teacher that engages her students to learn, and make a difference in their lives using the principles of Ako which encompass living, learning and teaching. Kathleen, who is a mother and grandmother, has a deep commitment to her family and their education.
Laulalatoa-Sammy Seau’s personal desire as a student teacher is to influence a generation of young minds. Born and bred in Invercargill, Laulalatoa-Sammy was educated at Verdon College. He attended Otago University completing a bachelor’s degree in arts, majoring in music. He has since embarked on a Master of Teaching and Learning degree this year at Otago University. Alongside study, Laulalatoa-Sammy works at Dunedin’s Knox College as a sub-master, a role that has pastoral care responsibility for mostly first and second year residents. Music plays a big role in his life. He is a resident composer for the New Zealand Secondary School and New Zealand Youth Choirs. He composes and arranges choral music and is a choir director. His most precious moments come from directing choirs experiences and it is these experiences that inspire him to be a teacher.
University graduate Lucy Marshall is currently studying towards a Master of Teaching and Learning degree. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Environment Studies. In 2015, with a passion for teaching, Lucy was part of a small tight-knit team that set up an early childhood centre in Palmerston North called the Secret Garden Childcare. Newly graduated with a graduate diploma in early childhood teaching at the time, the experience helped her as a kaiako (teacher) and a leader and enabled her to gain more confidence in speaking Te Reo Māori and practicing within Te Ao Māori context. She affiliates to Muaūpoko iwi.
A university graduate with a performing Māori arts degree, Mahinaarangi is now studying at Massey University towards a Te Aho Paerewa Bachelor of Education degree. Born into kohanga reo and continuing into kura kaupapa Māori, she has a passion for te reo Māori and kapa haka, its role in the revitalisation of the language and tikanga Māori. Mahinaarangi wishes to make an active contribution to her children’s learning and the learning of all children within her rohe (area).
Currently based in Auckland, Makere Stirling grew up in Christchurch and attended Te Kura Whakapumau, one of only two total immersion kura kaupapa in Christchurch for his entire primary, intermediate and secondary education. In his first year of university study at Canterbury University, the Christchurch Earthquake of Tuesday 22 February 2011 struck. After earthquake, Makere took a year off study to work on the Christchurch rebuild doing demolition in the CBD and helping re-level houses affected by the earthquake. Makere has since completed a bachelor’s degree in arts. He is now studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Teaching Primary at the University of Auckland. The example of great teachers have influenced Makere’s decision to study teaching and given him a desire to encourage and nurture a love of learning with all children. Makere is from Ngāi Tahu, Te Whānau-a-Apanui and Ngāti Porou.
Malia Sinisa is a mother of three and in her second year of study towards a Bachelor of Education degree in Primary at the Auckland University of Technology. As the second eldest of nine siblings, Malia has taken on leadership roles from a young age. She’s been a Zumba instructor, netball coach, youth leader and Sunday school teacher, plus a student mentor to her university peers. As a student teacher, Malia draws inspiration from her Tongan mother who qualified and worked as an early childhood teacher in New Zealand, overcoming barriers of migration, language and culture.
Waikato University graduate Manaia Ward-Tareha, of Ngāpuhi descent, completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Māori language/te reo Māori and Māori media and communications last year. She is now embarking on a Graduate Diploma in Primary Teaching at Waikato. A fluent te reo Māori speaker, she has maintained an A- average throughout her four years at Waikato University. She is the 2017 co-chairperson for the Waikato University Māori Student Board Te Waiora and has served as a mentor this year. A passionate kapa haka exponent, she participated in the 2015 Matatini competitions in Christchurch. Manaia has featured as a participant on Māori Television commissioned and in-house television productions for shows such as Ako.
Auckland University of Technology graduate Matt Howling holds a bachelor’s of sport and recreation, double majoring in coaching, health and physical education. Last year he returned from his OE, playing semi-professional rugby for the past three years in England. While in England he worked as a PE teacher and coach for junior students. He’s also captained the Tonga’s Under 20s World Cup team. He’s determined to develop his teaching skills and has already completed a national certificate in adult literacy and numeracy education last year. This year he is studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Teaching Secondary at the University of Auckland.
Misikuki Pepa knows first hand what it’s like to overcome the odds to achieve academic success in high school and university. An exceptionally talented student, Misikuki, who has previously taught piano and guitar, is the first member of his family to graduate from university. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in mathematics and science; he also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in economics and finance.
Misikuki credits great physics and mathematics teachers at high school as having a huge impact on his learning in the sciences, especially physics. Their enthusiasm for the subject, how they engaged their students and their interest in a student’s educational success left a deep impression on Misikuki. It gave him a desire to teach.
His goal is to teach physics because he saw from personal experience, often being the only Samoan student in his classes, that Pasifika students are underrepresented in physics, mathematics and science. He would like to help raise the numbers of Pasifika student enjoying and succeeding in science and mathematics. He would like to see whanau models of learning adopted in schools to help students feel safe and comfortable.
Originally from Lower Hutt, where he attended Catholic boys school St Bernard’s College, Misikuki suffered a head injury that impacted his life. But with sheer determination helped by the support of people around him, it didn’t stop him achieving academic success. At high school, he was awarded first prize in economics in his Year 13, the Industry Mathematics Award, and the NZIP Experimental Physics Award. He’s now studying towards a University of Canterbury Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning for Secondary School Teaching.
Originally from Te Tai Tokerau, university graduate Muritere Apiata is currently studying at Waikato University towards a Graduate Diploma in Teaching Secondary. She is a fluent te reo Māori speaker and holds a Ngā Mana Whakairo a Toi Bachelor of Māori Performing Arts degree from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. A performing kapa haka artist who has lead one of Te Tai Tokerau groups at Te Matatini, Muritere is a noted cultural ambassador for Ngāpuhi who performs for international visitors and delegates.
Born in Wellington, as a child, 25-year-old Paiana attended kohanga reo surrounded by her whānau at the Koraenui marae. Of Scottish, English on her mother’s side and Māori descent on her father’s side, Paiana grew up in Wellington immersed in the Māori community, attending kohanga reo at the whānau’s Koraenui marae. Now based in Palmerston North, her child is also attending kohanga reo where Paiana has taught and helped out. She has a passion for teaching and believes that patience is a critical quality in teaching so that children are listened to, and encouraged. Her teaching role model is her late father who taught for 23 years. Paiana is currently studying towards a Massey University Graduate Diploma in Teaching Primary.
Auckland University of Technology graduate Paora Ranui is studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching at Bethlehem Tertiary Institute in Tauranga. With a passion for education, sport fitness and his children, he completed a bachelor’s degree in sports and recreation from Auckland University of Technology. Education is something that Paora believes strongly in sharing with whānau and people. He believes anyone can be a leader in their whānau and iwi. After completing his sports degree, he organised a 12-week boot camp for family and friends, sharing the knowledge he gained from his university studies and his own personal journey. He helped facilitate He Ara Tika, a big sports day for Māori secondary students from five schools around the region. He is passionate about children having the best possible learning experiences and that’s the kind of teacher he intends to be. Paora affiliates to Ngāti Ranginui.
Waikato University graduate Parekatene, who doubles as a wedding planner and host at Māori tourism events in Rotorua, has had a lifelong passion for te reo Māori and hauora (health). She is currently studying towards the Te Aho Paerewa postgraduate diploma of teaching and learning in Māori Medium at Massey University. Tikanga Māori has shaped her life and her values. She was taught by the best teachers beginning with her mother; a teacher, principal and now a manager at the Education Review Office. She has a passion for teaching, education and helping children to thrive and learn.
Temple View resident Reilene Elkington, of Ngāti Kahungungu descent, is in her third year studying towards a Bachelor of Education at Waikato Institute of Technology. Earlier this year, this mother of six did a four day hike with 18 other women. She loves spending time with her husband Hohepa, their six children and extended family. Reilene aspires to be a teacher because she knows the power and influence of a good teacher in early childhood and she wants to create a safe, respected and quality learning environment for tamariki.
Last year, in 2016, Saronna was successfully nominated for the University of Auckland’s Emerging Leaders Programme. This year, Saronna has been selected as a mentor for the university’s Academic Services Graduate Internship Programme for 2017 as well as for Pasifika PowerUp Plus, an outreach community programme that allows parents, families and community to connect with their children's learning. Saronna brings a sensitivity towards supporting high school students undergoing the transition from high school to university.
The University of Auckland graduate Saronna Auina is currently studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Teaching Secondary with the University of Auckland. A former Kelston Girls High School prefect, she holds a Master of Science degree, a Bachelor of Science degree, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Science, specialising in biosecurity. Her master’s thesis title is 'Impacts of Anoplolepis Gracilipes (Yellow Crazy Ant) on invertebrate communities in Nu’utele, Samoa.'
Proudly from Mangere, South Auckland, university graduate Stewart Tukerangi holds a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation degree from the Auckland University of Technology. He is now studying towards a Graduate Diploma of Teaching Secondary at the University of Waikato. Passionate about the outdoors, Stewart has worked as an outdoor pursuits specialist for the last seven years working with schools in New Zealand and the United States. It’s a profession that has taught him about leadership. He is keen to combine his love of the outdoors with a desire to teach and help students achieve their potential, and to overcome barriers and adversity.
Eighteen-year-old scholarship student Xavia Fraser is studying towards a conjoint Bachelor of Teaching Primary and a Bachelor of Science at the University of Waikato. In the conjoint degree programme, she is majoring in professional education and mathematics with a specialisation in Te Putaiao me nga take Māori. Xavia is a kaiawhina(Māori student mentor) at Waikato University and also helps high school students as a private tutor. Xavia has a passion for people and goal-setting and is a former student at Sacred Heart Girl’s College in Hamilton.