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Kevin Waho says the strain of fulltime study while supporting his wife and family on a student allowance could sometimes be tough.

“I had given up my job because I was so passionate about learning te reo Māori and this was all on a study allowance which was quite hard really especially when you’ve got four young kids,” said the 52-year-old from Palmerston North.

Kevin is now the Year 11 Dean at Palmerston North Girls’ High School where he is also the Head of Department, Māori Studies.

It’s a far cry from his former life, which for 20 years saw him working as a storeman driving forklifts and the daily grind of loading and emptying trucks.

Kevin credits study with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa as the catalyst for the change when he graduated with Te Tohu Mātauranga – a diploma in Te Ara Reo Māori at the end of 2003.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa prides itself on providing a unique learning environment that delivers holistic education opportunities of the highest quality .

It’s something that Kevin can attest to.

His time at the wānanga prepared him for teacher’s college at Massey University and after graduating he was immediately recruited by Palmerston North Girls’ High School, who were impressed by his life experience and work ethic.

After a short stint at Fielding High School Kevin returned to PNGHS where he feels he is making a difference with young Māori, their learning and their future.

“If it wasn’t for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, the opportunities that I have had up until now I don’t think would have come.”

Today, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa serves over 32,000 students at 120 sites in 50 towns and cities throughout the country. 

More than 300,000 students have graduated from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa since its inception.

To find out more about our free beginner Te Ara Māori studies to our Degree Māori studies click here


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Published On: 09 July 2015

Article By: James Ihaka



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