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Student Profiles

Nick Connal
Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Rarotonga

Bachelor of Humanities

Background Summary:

I began tertiary studies at a mainstream university but I didn’t agree with some of the western philosophies being taught there, and, as a student you’re pretty much just a number. We heard about Awanuiārangi from my wife’s Marae, which has been completing Marae-based programs through Indigenous Wānanga. We looked at the programs and after speaking with some of the professors involved, we thought that Awanuiārangi would be good for us.

I work with at-risk youth. I’ve always wanted to go further into youth development, and the long-term goal is to go back to Rarotonga and work in that field.

Studying with Awanuiārangi has woken me up to a whole new world. Firstly the whanaūnga-tanga there: you’re valued and not just a number like at other institutions. I enjoy Awanuiārangi – we learn from everyone, not just the tutor. Everyone has something to say. The students in our group range from 60 years to 16 – everyone’s valued, everyone has input, that’s what I like.

Noho-style delivery is perfect for me because of work commitments, and for our whānau. My wife and I help each other and her sister and aunty are also studying along-side us. It’s good because we can all bounce ideas off each other. When I get stuck on something, they get me kick-started again.

Photo: The Connal whānau