Skip Content
Police Focus Graduate - Tori Barton

Becoming a police officer had always been a dream for single mum, Tori Barton, so she was willing to do whatever it would take to make that dream a reality.

Enrolling in Te Wānanga o Aotearoa’s NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation programme was a crucial step in her journey and played a key role in getting her to where she is today. 

“When I decided I wanted to join the police I wanted to do everything that I could to help me get there.”

“I spoke with the kaiako (teacher) and he encouraged me to do the programme because he knew how passionate I was and wanted to support me along the way,” says Tori who graduated from The Royal New Zealand Police College in August 2022.

Juggling full time mahi (work) and life as a solo parent was already a challenge for Tori, so adding study to her already busy schedule was daunting.

But the support she received from her kaiako, Morgan Kutia and fellow tauira (students) meant that studying wasn’t just possible but it was easier than she originally thought.

“I loved the supportive atmosphere. If I didn’t have the support of my peers and the kaiako it would have been a very lonely journey and I would have struggled to do it on my own.”

Not only did the programme help Tori gain the knowledge and skills she needed for the pre-entry testing but she was also happily surprised to learn more about tikanga Māori.

It was because of this tikanga knowledge that she went to police college with a stronger sense of confidence in who she was as a wahine (woman) Māori, so much so, that she led the karanga (formal call) at her graduation ceremony.

“Learning through Te Wānanga helped to ground me and I was able to go to police college and stand proud in the fact that I am Māori and now I can be proud in the fact that I’m a wahine Māori police officer.”

Find out more about our Police Focused NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation programme.

 Back to news & events

Published On: 29 November 2022

Article By: Cassia Ngāruhe

Other Articles

  • 08 June 2023

    Getting into the forest right choice for rangatahi

    Rheeco admits he would be up to ‘nothing good’ if he wasn’t where he is now. Currently he’s deep in the Kaingaroa forest, using a chainsaw to cut down trees with a thinning crew.

  • 06 June 2023

    Wānanga Team Leadership programme uplifts Christchurch local

    Christchurch local, Sai Vaega has always aspired to make a positive impact in his community and the well-being of those around him.

  • 23 May 2023

    Dyslexia was no barrier for wānanga student

    Small business owner, Kawhena Rangihaeata Puha, overcame her struggles with dyslexia to complete the Level 4 Certificate in Small Business last year at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

  • 17 May 2023

    Multiple sclerosis diagnosis leads to rongoā Māori studies

    After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 19, Arron Learmond began a journey of learning, researching and experimenting with herbal medicine and rongoā Māori.