I just think that it would be a great opportunity to kick start my career.
It would really teach me a lot about the corporate world, how to be professional and how to apply what I’ve learned in university in a professional setting.
I learned about the Office of the Ombudsman through my studies at law school.
They taught me that the Office of the Ombudsman was an independent monitoring mechanism for government bodies and public bodies.
I set up an internship programme for two reasons.
One is its really good for this office to be refreshed and to be looking at what younger generation and younger students are thinking.
The second and really important reason is to offer opportunities.
It’s really good to give people an opportunity to see what a major agency like ours looks like, and to experience what we do.
I was treated with a lot of respect, especially with my Māoritanga.
On my first day, they gave me a mihi whakatau and a pōwhiri.
I wasn’t expecting that - that was really, it was really respectful the way that I was welcomed into the office. I felt that I would be respected and it felt like home.
The majority of the work that I’ve been doing has been around incorporating a Māori perspective into a lot of the office’s work.
One of them was through the disability induction training, where I was able to add a te ao Māori perspective highlighting Pūrākau Māori.
And through using Pūrākau Māori – Māori storytelling – and also through tikanga and the way that we were raised, through my own personal experiences, and being able to incorporate that into the office’s work.
The Ombudsman’s office is a trusting, respectful, empathetic environment.
The internship programme will give the office a better understanding of the Māori world, especially with matters relating to kaupapa Māori.
It’s gone very well.
We’ve developed a strong and important relationship with Kiingitanga.
That’s a move that I’ve wanted to do for some time in terms of our development of te ao Māori.
This is a first and important step along the way.
It’ll be the beginning of a wider, more deep internship programme.
Advice I’d give to other tauira Māori would be to take every opportunity that comes your way – especially opportunities like this as it’s increasing Māori participation within corporate sectors.
It’s really giving us a voice and giving us a taste of what it’s like having Māori in those environments and where we’re able to contribute to changes that can be made.