Hana Merenea O'Regan
General Manager Oranga – Wellbeing, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha
AUT’s commitment to language maintenance is what first impressed Hana O’Regan.
“It’s inspiring to see the level of leadership and forward thinking AUT staff have, and the way they encourage students to test boundaries and assumptions. It resonated with me straight away when I first attended a language hui at AUT, and helped to ignite my own passion for the discipline.
“I see AUT as a leader in the area of language revitalisation research, locally and internationally,” says Hana who is now completing her Doctor of Philosophy at AUT.
Making a difference
Having long been committed to Māori language revitalisation, Hana decided to embark on doctoral study to develop strategic interventions for her Kāi Tahu people.
“For my thesis, I’m researching my own tribal language history and our language revitalisation journey, in the context of the international work on language revitalisation,” she says.
Surrounded by passion and expertise
Being in constant contact with the language revitalisation world is a highlight of her studies.
“I enjoy being around students and experts from New Zealand and the world who are just as passionate my area of interest as I am. They ‘get it’ – and are committed to making their research and learning count to make a difference. That speaks to me,” says Hana.
“We continue to provide support and inspiration to each other, share ideas and, at times, give the supporting feedback when things get challenging.”
The human factor
She admits that combining study with her other commitments has its challenges, but the supportive environment makes a big difference and she is pleased now to be on the final leg of her journey.
“Juggling family, full-time work, community and iwi work, and study is a constant struggle. My supervisor has helped me navigate the rocky parts. She has never allowed me to take my eye off the goal, but has respected my need to take the odd detour to ensure I can still achieve the goal in the end.
“The ‘human’ factor is huge. I’m seen as a whole person – not just a student,” Hana says.
Last updated: 14-Jul-2017 2.39pm
The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.