Ko au Hana Skerrett-White
Hana (Ngāi Tahu – Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki, Ngāi Te Atawhiua), grew up in Hamilton and learned to speak te reo Māori from an early age. She has completed a BA and Bachelor of Teaching and is now working as a teacher at Tuahiwi School, near Christchurch.
She spent time working on the Get on the Waka campaign, which she says gave her valuable experience. Get on the Waka connected Canterbury Māori with careers to help in earthquake recovery. Led by Te Tapuae o Rēhua, it encouraged young Māori to get on the waka of tertiary education.
Hana has been immersed in Ngāi Tahu cultural revitalization and she is heavily involved in Manawa Hou – a Ngāi Tahu leadership programme that encourages rangatahi to think about the future. It’s about language and the land she says.
“Our papakāinga is a beautiful whenua. It’s important we know the stories and everything that makes us Ngāi tahu. It’s about relationships, reo, land and knowing your culture and language. You can’t have one without the other.”