My desire to do good for people pushed me to enter a career where I could help people – more specifically my own Māori people. Originally, I thought my only option was to become a doctor. However, a visit to the Hawkes Bay field days during my last year at Karamu High School, led me to a career where I could bring together my love for people, the land and science.
Going to a University was a choice I made for two main reasons: 1) to have a qualification that supported my education and work in a field that I believed was meaningful, and 2) to become the first person in my family to get a Bachelor’s Degree straight out of high school.
You don’t have to be the brainiest to go to university or study at the tertiary level, you just need to be determined enough to work for it. You also don’t have to be financially stable because in this industry there are many businesses that are wanting to support hard-working individuals. In fact, I have received numerous supports to partake in educational trips that have taken me around NZ, Europe, South Korea, Canada, the USA, and Mexico.
Being with the NZAPI team during the COVID-19 crisis has given me first-hand experience in crisis management and greater insight into our apples and pears industry. In May I will begin my new role as Student Liaison with NZAPI where I’ll be promoting horticulture as a potential career by providing main horticulture regions with resources for young people looking at career options, or for a change in career. I have huge goals to one day manage my own production site and create a space for my whanau that incorporates Māori tikanga, but until then I want to learn as much as I can about our horticultural sector.