The last two months of being Tumuaki of Te Roopū Māori have been the best two months of my time here at university. Te Rito (the Executive team of Te Roopū Māori) have been working diligently to provide services and events to tauira and actively advocating for the interests of Māori tauira within the university. The ambitions and objectives of Te Rito are beginning to come to fruition. The whare is buzzing with tauira every day. It has been great to see tauira from different areas of study coming in and utilising the whare.
Relay for Life was a huge success, with nearly 30 tauira participating and supporting the kaupapa of this event. Our whare was full of energetic tauira the entire night. Ka mau te wehi whānau!
The reo classes have created a huge hype within the university. OUSA has contributed amazing support to this kaupapa and has provided all tauira the opportunity to attend these classes. Tuesday night was our first reo class and over 120 people turned up, ready to learn Te Reo Māori. It was amazing to see that amount of people keen to step out of their comfort zones and engage in this awesome kaupapa.
The ANZAC service held at the university was a truly humbling experience. I was nervous and excited, as I had never spoken at an ANZAC service before. It was difficult preparing a speech, as I wanted to honour all those affected by war and also give something from my heart. As I was giving my speech, I felt overwhelmed with emotion (something that I thought I was prepared to deal with). However, looking out to the audience and seeing their expressions I knew that I was not the only one feeling these emotions. It was a truly unprecedented moment in my life as I profoundly appreciated the purpose of ANZAC day; it is a day that unites us as a nation to remember those who made incomparable sacrifices for the peace and freedom we live in today. The Kapahaka Roopū performed an amazing bracket. After the service, many people approached me to comment on their spectacular performance. Vice-Chancellor Harlene Hayne said the Kapahaka Roopū and Te Roopū Māori had done a wonderful job. The astounding comments about the Kapahaka Roopū and Te Roopū Māori filled me with confidence and strengthened my belief that we, as Māori students, are on the right path.
na Eli Toeke
Tumuaki o Te Roopū Māori