Skip Content
fiona ajani

Te huarahi ako mai i te tauira ki te kaiako

Whangarei Certificate in Money Management kaiako Fiona Ajani is making a difference in people's lives. 

Below she shares her two-year journey from tauira to kaiako at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

"I was an educator in the army for five years then in 2014 I was a stay at home mum and I wanted something to do. My daughter was six months old, I was over coffee groups, so I thought I'd give this free Small Business Management course a go. 

I thought I'd cruise along but Linda (Marsh) my kaiako said, 'You need to treat this course like a business'. I thought 'Woah this kaiako is not going to let me slip'. 

I'd done my whole education degree by distance learning so to come to class, I loved it! The information I learned that's not in a book, it's way more than what the curriculum's about. 

On the course, I started working part-time through some people I met, then at the end I went full-time. That's when I said, 'I love it here, I want to stay.' So I looked up what I could do and I saw Money Management. I really wanted my husband to know about our finances so I said to him 'Lets do it together. It can be our date night'. 

We learned so much, it got us motivated and we can say we're mortgage-free now. I also did the computing course because I'm a workplace assessor, so the more credits in my pocket the more unit standards I can assess. Again, I can say that course was awesome and I met so many friends.

At the end of last year I started thinking about self-employment. My Money Management kaiako was going to retire and I thought 'I can do it'. I knew I wanted to teach but my biggest thing was I wanted to make a difference in people's lives. But going from a salary, the risk is not knowing if a pay cheque's going to come in. The business course gave me the confidence to take the leap of faith, quit my job and take on this contract in March. 

This was my first contract ever, but it was a starting point. I sat down and wrote my plan using the business course template and what's exciting is all of a sudden I've got other business contracts from other work places.

I'm not Māori, I don't speak Te Reo but being a student with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, it's really broken down that barrier which I think stops a lot of people. But I know I don't have to be Māori to be part of the whānau. I just really believe these courses changed my life."


 Back to news & events

Published On: 7 June, 2016

Article By: Carly Tawhiao



Other Articles

  • 19 March, 2020

    Important updates on COVID-19 response

    The health and safety of our tauira and their whānau are paramount for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. We're taking all necessary precautions in our wānanga to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • 13 March, 2020

    Ancient Māori methods for new fitness coaching programme

    The way of the warrior involved tests of fitness, agility and mental sharpness. And now these traditional methods Māori used to maintain their health and wellbeing are being offered as a pathway into the fitness coaching industry.

  • 13 March, 2020

    Mātauranga Māori and western science a winning combination

    Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and science have combined to help restore kaimoana stocks in Ōhiwa Harbour.

  • 13 March ,2020

    Stepping stone to stage success

    Aspiring actors, directors, musicians and creatives need look no further than their own backyard for their inspiration, a Kawerau kaiako says.