Skip Content
Sam and Courtney Manu and their tamariki

Completing the Money Management programme at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in 2018 was the kickstart Sam and Courtney Manu needed to take control of their financial future.

The young couple were able to use the knowledge that they gained from the programme to save, get out of debt, launch a business, and start investing.

“Sam and I didn’t really have much money to our names. We probably had negatives. We saved, we budgeted, we learnt how to be financially capable,” says Courtney.

Challenges were set during the programme that the Manus would complete in their daily lives, meaning their study became like less of a chore and more of a game.

The couple launched their business, Samuel Manu Plastering, in 2019 and with the help of the business programmes at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, they managed to gain the skills needed to help grow their business.

“Emotionally, the journey of starting a business is hard. You question everything. Our lecturer at the time was really good at creating an atmosphere that was non-judgmental. We expanded and learned and have acquired the best employees,” says Courtney.

With little money saved, Courtney worked on the side to help support their whānau while their business got up and running.

Starting a business was a big risk for the Manu whānau but they recognised the opportunities that owning their own business could provide, especially for their tamariki.

“I think using the kids and my family as motivation for us to actually make it work was a big part of wanting to go and start a business,” says Sam.

The couple continue to grow their business and their financial knowledge, displaying the vision of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, whānau transformation through education.

Courtney also continues to share budgeting tips and tricks with her followers on social media and has made connections within Māori and Pacific small business networks throughout Aotearoa.

“Having access to being able to understand wealth creation is a human right,” says Courtney. “Would I recommend Te Wānanga o Aotearoa? Yes. Absolutely.”

Find out more about business programmes.

 Back to news & events

Published On: 05 May 2023

Article By: Cassia Ngaruhe

Other Articles

  • 16 May 2024

    Kawerau local lives out childhood dream of learning to weave

    As a young girl, Barbara Wheto always had a fascination with harakeke and the art of weaving. But growing up in an era where being Māori and Māori culture were scorned upon, she was never encouraged to explore the art form.

  • 09 May 2024

    Wānanga scholarship supports tauira in completing Master of Architecture thesis

    The 2023 Dr. Buck Nin Memorial Scholarship recipient for Māori contemporary art was 23-year-old Antonia van Sitter, who put the funds towards completing her Master of Architecture thesis.

  • 09 May 2024

    Rodney Whanga, Te Matatini Scholarship award winner

    Mahia te mahi hei oranga whakatipu, hei oranga tuku iho mō te iwi, ahakoa ngā piere nuku o te wā. Ko Rodney Whanga o Tainui waka, nō ngā iwi o Ngāti Maniapoto me Waikato te whakatinanatanga o te kōrero nei.

  • 08 May 2024

    University Associate Professor committed to reo Māori journey

    Sondra Bacharach is no stranger to education. She currently teaches a university philosophy programme in Aotearoa and has experienced classroom environments as a student within the American, French and German education systems.