Maioha, head girl at Tauranga Girls' High School and was recently selected by the Society for the Maori Scholarship to attend the London International Youth Science Forum
Tū ana ahau ki te tihi o tōku maunga tapu, ko Mauao, ka tiro whakararo ki ngā wai piratarata o Tauranga Moana, ki te awanui ki te awaiti, te ūnga mai o tōku waka ko Tākitimu. Nei rā he uri o te iwi o Ngāti Ranginui, te marae o Kahutapu hoki. E te tī e te tā, nei rā a Ngati Kahu o ngā Mārama, e tau ana. I stand on my sacred mountain Mauao, looking down to the shimmery waters of Tauranga Moana, the entrance of where my waka Takitimu ferrying my descendents entered the land where I live. I am a descendant of the tribe Ngāti Ranginui from our meeting house Kahutapu.
E ngā hunga panui, my name is Maioha Haimona-Ngawharau. I was born and raised in the beautiful Tauranga Moana, and am Head Girl of Tauranga Girls’ College for 2019. I feel absolutely privileged to have received this prestigious scholarship to attend the London International Science Forum.
I have been blessed to have been brought up in a humble and simple whānau. Growing up, my mother never failed to provide her best for us tamariki. This included her instilling in us a deep appreciation for our culture and language. To have the opportunity to share this passion of mine on an international stage is such a privilege.
At a young age, I became aware of the disparities between Maori and Pakeha here in New Zealand. I realised that the only way I can combat these issues was through the power of education. This has been my drive and foundation throughout college and boosted my work ethic in all my aspects of my studies. When I hit college I found myself engaged in all the new subjects, including history, geography, the sciences and maths. The thrill of experiments, making new discoveries and the satisfaction of learning how to solve a question in maths encourages me to continue on this path of science.
Throughout my years at college, I have enjoyed a busy lifestyle; this includes balancing sporting, academic, cultural, whanau and church commitments. Outside of the sciences, I am a keen sports player, heavily involved in the Basketball community, and keen to do anything that involves a ball or being outdoors. Another huge hobby of mine includes the performing arts, from singing, kapa haka, Pasifika or dance, I am down! And lastly and most importantly I am grateful to be a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Now as a year 13 student I have set the goal to earn a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, or a career in science after school, to give back to my whānau, hapū, and others within the wider community.
I am truly grateful for my whanau and the awesome teachers at TGC who supported me in my application and made this possible!