Look after your wairua

Nohorua Hawaikirangi Parata (Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Toa, Te Ātiawa) is motivated by his whānau, his iwi, his ahurea (culture), and our taiao (natural world) to succeed in the workforce.

Nohorua Parata
The Media Studies, Te Reo Māori and Film student is giving the graduate speech at the Te Herenga Waka marae ceremony at the December graduation. His message to students is, “Never forget who you are, where you come from, and those who helped you get to where you are today. And look after your wairua!”

Nohorua was surprised and humbled to be asked to speak on behalf of such a strong cohort of graduands, but says, “I’ve learned so much here at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, and I’m thankful for the opportunities that I’ve been fortunate enough to experience throughout my journey. The people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made will continue to be a valuable network as I carry on into my future career.”

He wishes also to remind the graduates just what they have accomplished. “University isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, nor is it an easy thing to complete—I want to acknowledge our cohort for sticking it out right to the very end.”

Nohorua has recently followed in his mother, Member of Parliament the Honorable Meka Whaitiri and godfather Parekura Horomia’s politic footsteps in being elected Tumuaki Takirua (co-president) of Te Mana Ākonga—the National Māori Tertiary Students’ Association.

“I have a strong passion and drive to serve our people and therefore wish to continue that by serving and representing our tauira Māori across the tertiary sector,” says Nohorua.

He is currently a research intern for Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori centre of research excellence, based at the University of Auckland, where he is working on a project about digital solutions for iwi.