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Student Profiles

Shonelle Iopata
Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa

Bachelor of Mātauranga Māori

Background Summary:

I started as a student at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in Te Awa Tūāpapa, a Level 4 certificate in te reo Māori. From there I was encouraged by the kaiako to enrol into the Bachelor of Mātauranga Māori.
The mahi was difficult at times because te reo Māori is my second language. However, with the support of my whānau and hapū and my passion to learn more mātauranga Māori I was able to push through. This degree forced me to use what I had learnt already in my lifetime and extend it to the next level. It answered the why, how, and who questions that I had pertaining to tikanga and kawa. The mātauranga Māori that I already had before starting this degree was only touching on the basics. What you will receive from the kaiako teaching this degree is hōhonutanga me ngā kōrero tuku iho mai ta tātau tīpuna. That is the reason I chose to do this degree.
Within this degree you will learn about whaikōrero, karanga, karakia, waiata and more. There is also a research component which gave me the opportunity to research and write about something that was close to my hapū. The research component and the mātauranga Māori papers combined in this degree complement each other and prepare you for a Masters degree if you so wish to continue on a mātauranga journey, which I have chosen to do.
The delivery of the BMM programme via four weekend noho suited me as I work fulltime. The kaiako were happy to provide extra tutorial during working hours when I needed to ensure I was on the right track. I encourage anyone thinking about taking this programme to jump in and go for it. Kia kaha koutou ki te ako mātauranga Māori.