Strong connections and a stimulating learning environment at UC
Recent graduate Amiria Reid (Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-a-Kai)’s love of her whakapapa, her community and her surroundings motivated her to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Canterbury and the led to fulfilling work.
With a major in tourism, marketing and management and a minor in te reo Māori, Amiria sees the tourism industry as a platform to tell the stories of tangata whenua and an opportunity to preserve the history of our tūpuna (ancestors) .
“The story of tangata whenua (Maori) and how we treat the whenua as a living entity, the value we place on conservation and guardianship, should be shared around the world,” says Amiria.
Amiria had heard from students about their excellent experiences in business, but the new major in tourism, marketing and management was an unfamiliar area of study and something she found “really fascinating.”
Tourism, Marketing, and Management students adapt and learn while engaging in group work, independent research, and practical skills like event management.
“I found it particularly interesting to study tourism during the Covid pandemic. I refocused my research on identifying new initiatives that could help the industry meet current challenges. Although my studies took an unexpected turn, I learned how adaptable and resilient industry can be.
Amiria says the Maori development team was an integral part of her journey to earning her tohu mātauranga (diploma): “There is a whānau, a hapori (community) in the department that is committed to supporting your career aspirations. and your success.
As a Tuakana mentor and tutor, Amiria has also helped high school students bridge the gap between school and university. According to her, the opportunities have helped her develop her networking and interpersonal skills necessary for her role as marketing coordinator for Te Matakīrea, the indigenous design unit of Warren and Mahoney Architects.
During her freshman year at UC, Amiria joined the Te Akatoki Maori Student Association as recruitment officer and secretary. Roles have taken her around Aotearoa representing tauira Māori, performing kapa haka, connecting with other tauira Māori and speaking about the issues facing Māori in the tertiary space.
“Within the association, I made strong hononga (connections), found my voice as a wahine Maori and gained a supportive community to help me find my feet in the university,” she says.
“Nōku te whiwhi, I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to study, develop and strengthen my knowledge base and make lasting connections in a stimulating learning environment.”
“My role at Warren and Mahoney is to coordinate the Advanced Native Design Unit. This involves supporting the Te Matakīrea manager, understanding co-design principles and iwi engagement strategies, and networking and connecting our Maori and Indigenous members across all studios.
“Every day, my job also includes promoting and defending te reo Māori and helping members of our studio develop their cultural skills,” she says.