Te Reo Māori Teacher, Mangere College
Bachelor of Māori Development in Māori Media
His passion is Māori rangatahi, says John Henare Kingi who is now a te reo Māori teacher at Mangere College.
“I get to be part of shaping young Māori learners into a better version of themselves; whatever they believe that to be. I enjoy having the opportunity to work with them and encourage, inspire and show them that whatever they aspire to be is achievable.
“Teaching students from Year 9 to Year 13 is my main role but being a Māori teacher comes with so much more responsibility, from being the point of reference for everything te ao Māori in the school to acting as a taxi service or being the Māori voice for all students and staff. My proudest moments are when my students understand what we’re learning in class, and that spark hits them and they just run away with this new knowledge.”
Supported to thrive
The start of his own tertiary journey was interesting, John admits.
“I initially studied music at another tertiary institute. I enjoyed my journey there, but I felt as if I was still finding myself in the world. I was referred to AUT and introduced to Māori media by a friend of mine. I had a lot of success in my studies at AUT, and received special recognition for my grades from Te Ara Poutama, the Faculty of Māori Development.”
He appreciated the support he received throughout his time at AUT, says John who received a Peter Harwood scholarship to help him fund his studies.
“I guess the main highlight for me was the immense amount of support I received from all the staff, especially from every member of staff at Te Ara Poutama. They went above and beyond for me in all aspects of my life really. Another highpoint for me were the new relationships I formed while studying at AUT, which was a very safe, inclusive and welcoming environment.”
Advice for other students
Having graduated at the end of 2018, John has some great advice for other students.
“My advice is to give everything your absolute best. Don’t just work hard for yourself but focus on who and where you have come from. Understand that we’re here because we have descended from warriors and know that their journey to Aotearoa was for all of us to benefit from.”
Believe in your dreams, he adds.
“Don’t believe that any of your dreams are too far-fetched – know that all effort you put in, you will reap. So work hard and stay focused e te whānau.”