Follow the Māori brick road

I made the decision to go back to uni this year and finally restart, and finish my degree. Actually, hubby kind of did the, “You have no excuse now dear! All the kids are teenagers and are happy at school. It’s time for you to GET!”. Such a grouch.

I’m loving it more now than I did when I first enrolled into uni at AUT as a fresh faced  take on the world-erer in 2001/2. I don’t know if that’s because I’m older now, a parent now, or if it’s because my husband, who’s a lecturer, kinda growled at me to go back, or it’s just wanting to be a solid female role model for my kids, but shit it feels good to stretch the brain.

So, here I am, lunch packed and in my handy dandy back pack, breakfast eaten (I started this on Monday morning … it’s now Thursday evening. Assignments.) and jaw stinging from gulping back the lemony hot water I have steeping in front of me too quick, and I can honestly say that while I love being back at kura. I’m absolutely shitting myself as well. So many doubts run through my head, and as a wahine Māori, a Māori woman, and a mum, sometimes I feel like there’s no frikkin way that I should be here. But I can’t let my kids down. They don’t even know they’re my inspiration.

My biggest obstacle at the moment is my own mind. And it’s only the second semester of my first year. Stop doubting yourself, dick.

I’m not at AUT (where husband works) though. I told my husband that for my own sanity, and our domestic harmony, I needed to be out from under his shadow and be me. Be on my own. Not his wife, his missus, his mumsy. No. I also didn’t want to have to explain or defend any possible good grades I got. That was my main thing. Having to constantly defend that I do work hard for my marks and it wasn’t just handed to me because I’m a lecturers wife.

I was me before I was married.

I was me when I became a parent.

I was me when I got married and took my husbands name.

I am me now and I’ll get through uni being me as well.

Thank you very much.



Kia ora University of Waikato. This is my academic home for the next three years.

As a student of the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies I can quite confidently say that this place has revived my desire to do more than just giggle and nod at the things I do understand in Te Reo Māori and then stare at something on the ground when the metaphor’s fly 1000 feet over my head. I’m someone who once had a Māori tongue but had it taken away by one of her own in order to fit in. Fast forward to 2018 and hullo, I’m back at square one, relearning what I originally lost and fitting in with all the others who are also at square one – it’s so frikkin awesome to see and hear. For example:

I saw a classmate of mine yesterday. Out of class. He was with a friend of his. As I passed him he smiled and let out a, “Kia ora e hoa!”. Now, there’s nothing unusual about that, except for a full 5 minutes we had a full conversation in Te Reo Māori about our upcoming kōrero-ā-waha (oral presentation) and how we’re both stressing but coping, and he is Pākeha (NZ European). His friend was doing her best to impersonate a deer in headlights, and after we said goodbye to each other I heard his friend say, “Mate!?! Didn’t even know you spoke Maowri!?!”. She was corrected politely with, “Bro, I don’t just speak Maowri. I kōrero Māori. It’s mean, you should join!” I can’t wait to see that one become a fluent speaker. He is going to rock the planet.


What does Waikato have in store for me in the next three years, maybe? Everything, as long as I am willing to be open, learn from mistakes, strive and work my butt off for it. I have only one option; and that is to graduate. So my kids will have something to be proud of me for. They don’t even know they’re my reason for wanting this so frikkin bad. So I’d better not stuff it up.

Now … back to my essay.


Author: Andrea King

Wife. Mother. Sibling. Friend. Raised by nan. Slightly weird. But still rather normal. ... kia ora :)

2 thoughts on “Follow the Māori brick road”

  1. I’m proud of us all for the hard mahi we’re doing today for our mokopuna! Kia kaha e hoa, ur tūpuna are guiding your way 👌🏾👌🏾👌🏾


    1. Tika tāu, the more we learn the higher they (our mokopuna) climb. Kia ora mō tō tautoko e hoa, it’s awesome to have tuakana who walk the talk at te whare wānanga! May our tūpuna continue to guide us 🌺🌺


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