Jim Hutchinson.

Automotive Tutor, Tai Tokerau Wānanga
Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi

Sir James Henare of Ngāti Hine once said “Kua tawhiti kē tō haerenga mai kia kore e haere tonu, He nui rawa ō mahi, kia kore e mahi tonu” meaning, you have come too far not to go further, you have done too much not to do more.

His words for me, echo the role that hard work, determination and dedication play in obtaining all that we desire. For me, this whakatauakī can be related to the star found within the Matariki star cluster, Hiwa-i-te-rangi, this is the star that represents our hopes and aspirations for the coming year.

Matariki, our Māori new year, is a time for reflection. Honouring our past to determine our future. As Puanga has already risen, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the present hardships and significant challenges that our people here in Te Tai Tokerau face.

For those within our region, tertiary education is a sparse commodity with limited choices available for further education. Education for us means access to a better future not just for ourselves but our hāpori as well. However, budget cuts made by Te Pukenga have made it harder for Northlanders to access quality education. These cuts affect the resourcing and delivery of courses. (At times we are running on the smell of an oily rag)

In my role as an Automotive tutor, my hopes, and aspirations for the coming year, would be for all ākonga enrolled to have equitable access to appropriate resources. These resources would empower ākonga to continue learning new skills that will further their career opportunities and futures, all while doing what they love. The words of Sir James Henare instil, to the people of Te Tai Tokerau a reminder to never give up on our education, goals, or aspirations.