Ko Puhanga Tohora te maunga
Ko Punakitere te awa
Ko Hokianga to moana
Ko Ngātokimatawhaorua te waka
Ko Ngāti Ueoneone te hapū
Ko Okorihi te marae
Ko Ngāpuhi te iwi
Ko Nikora te ingoa tuarua o tōku kuia
Ka Tayla Cook taku ingoa
I would like to send a huge mihi to you and the whānau of Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi O Ngāpuhi. I was a member of the 2014 pool of successful applicants for a Ngāpuhi Tertiary Scholarship, and I would like to thank you for supporting my studies as I am not only graduating next month, but I have also gained a role at Victoria University of Wellington. It was through this pūtea that I was able to knuckle down and get the grades I needed to finally walk away with my tohu next month. I will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and Māori Studies with a minor in Māori Resource Management.
I have just started my new role as Kaitakawaenga Māori (Māori Liaison Officer) to help transition whānau into the tertiary space at Victoria. I was reflecting over the long weekend and was unsure of what follow-up you awesome people get to hear from the investments you make in us as rangatahi, so I thought I would send this through. I hope to come home to help whānau expand their potential and maybe look into tertiary as an option. With the awesome news of our relationship growing with Victoria University through the signing of the new Taihonoa programme,
I am definitely looking forward to increasing Ngāpuhi success. Thank you again whānau, and let me know if you need anything from me and I will try my best to come home to help out. Until then, I will help my nan (Meri Scott-Ritchie nee Nikora) execute her job description of being an awesome Nanny (yes, she preserves fruits, makes pickle, gardens, knits and weaves) at our homestead near te wahi o te marae o Okorihi.
Tayla Cook (Kaitakawaenga Māori, Victoria University of Wellington)
[Published in E Mara E Pānui 27 April 2017]
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