Meet our Summer Student Interns!

For the fourth consecutive year, Toi Tangata put out the call for tauira Māori to apply for the Toi Tangata Summer Student Internships for 2016-2017. This year we offered three opportunities; two internships in partnership with tertiary providers University of Otago-Te Koronga and Te Wānanga o Raukawa, and the third open to tertiary students from any university in the country.

From an impressive pool of candidates, the successful applicants were Tukohirangi Pini (Tapuika), Waitiria Greeks (Whakatohea, Ngati Maniapoto) and Deb Heke.

What is the Toi Tangata Summer Student Internship all about?

During the 10 week internship, the students will get the opportunity to wānanga, gain valuable sector experience within a tuakana-teina relationship and work towards a project in a creative and supportive environment. Worth $5,000, students are given the chance to contribute and connect to the mahi happening within Māori public health, nutrition and physical activity sector.

We are looking forward to getting nga tauira on board. Mauri ora!

Debs Heke

Ko Ngatokimatawhauroa te waka.
Ko Te Ahuahu te maunga.
Ko Omapere te wai.
Ko Parawhenua te marae.
Ko Taiamai te rohe.
Ko Ngatihineira me Uritaniwha oku hapu.
Ko Ngapuhi te iwi.
Ko Turei raua ko Karen oku maatua.
Ko Deborah Heke toku ingoa.

As one of the 2016/17 interns with Toi Tangata I am keen to learn from this awesome organisation and hope to contribute something of my own over this summer internship.  My professional background includes 7 years working in community mental health and around 5 years in the fitness industry.  I enjoy moving.  Moving me, moving stuff and moving others if they’re willing.

I am currently about midway through my Masters in Health Science at Auckland University of Technology and see this internship as an opportunity to take a step back from the daily writing and rewriting that has been my reality.  My thesis topic is looking at responses to “short, sharp” exercise with inactive Māori women and hopes to encourage this group of women into regular physical activity – F.I.T Wāhine.  I have been honoured to meet and work with some awesome wāhine throughout this journey and am so proud of what they have achieved so far.

My personal journey throughout this past year has brought me to Toi Tangata with the hope that I can grow my understanding and connection to mātauranga me te ao Māori to apply it to the future work I do with potential doctoral studies and further.

Tukohirangi Pini

Ko Rangiuru te maunga
Ko Kaituna te awa
Ko Te Arawa te waka
Ko Ngati Marukukere te hapū
Ko Tapuika te tangata
Ko Tapuika te iwi.

Kia ora whānau, my name is Tukohirangi Pini, I have recently completed my post graduate diploma in Physical Education looking at the use of taonga tākaro, or traditional Māori games, as a form of pedagogy to teach and learn about a Māori worldview. Born in Lower Hutt, Wellington, I grew up in Tauranga and attended Tauranga Boys College. Earlier this year I graduated with a Bachelor of Physical Education. I am a member of Te Koronga roopu here at the University of Otago. Te Koronga is the academic research excellence group within the School of Physical Education. The group is co-led by Dr Anne-Marie Jackson and Dr Hauiti Hakopa, and under their watchful eyes, I have been able to grow as a person and as an academic. My passions include basketball, kapa haka and taonga tākaro. I am hoping that the skills I have learnt during my time here in Dunedin will enable me to successfully undertake this summer internship that I am about to embark on.

Waitiria Greeks

Ko Tarakeha te maunga
Ko Opape te marae
Ko Muriwai te tangata
He uri ahau noo ngaa iwi o Whakatōhea me Ngāti Maniapoto
Ko Waitiria Greeks ahau

I was born and raised in Ngāti Kahungunu and educated in te ao Māori from Kōhanga Reo through to Kura Kaupapa and then on to Hukarere Māori Girls College. As a young mother I began to explore my own interests in Sport & Health Massage and Health Promotion which eventually sparked my passion in Hauora Māori. I have recently completed an exciting journey with Te Wānanga or Raukawa gaining Poutuarongo Kawa Oranga – Bachelor of Māori Health, Sport and Exercise. This journey has not only contributed to my own mātauranga but it has also contributed to my own personal growth and been a powerful tool to help me to move on from my past and continue to build a better future for myself and my tamariki. I hope that one day I am able to give back to our Māori people, work and liaise in communities and help other whānau towards better health and wellbeing through mātauranga Māori.  I have begun to develop my own kaupapa Māori initiative that I hope to build on through this summer internship while gaining new knowledge and experiences, meeting new people and building connections within the health sector.