Ko wai koe?

My name is Vicki Keast. I’m a wife, a mother, a grandmother and businesswoman. Sometimes I feel a bit whakamā about my connection to my heritage. I’m so determined to learn about who I am, and I just love the sound of the Māori language. Years ago, when I was younger I had no idea. It wasn’t until we were on holiday a couple of years ago, I was on holiday in Tahiti. The accountant texted me and he asked me if I had Māori blood. I started investigating my whakapapa. My mum told me to contact cousin Joan. She had done all this amazing research. I was so excited. I’m learning who I am.

I’m linked to Ngāi Tahu through my mother’s side. My whakapapa on my Ngāi Tahu side links us to Kaikōura – Mangamaunu, Takahanga – and Germany, although there are discrepancies from different family members about whether our whānau were English or German due to the hīkoi via England by our Great-great grand-father.

Roofmasters is a family owned commercial roofing company servicing the South Island. We specialise in all aspects of roofing. Our core business is seamless membrane. If you get a chance to look at our video it’s the stuff the boys are spraying. It’s environmentally friendly. It sprays on and sets within three seconds. We have evolved over the last few years and really established where we want to be headed. We started in the domestic sector and we have now progressed to be predominantly commercial. What we love about what we do is that we solve people’s leaking problems. And that’s really rewarding – to be solving people’s problems. Our mission statement is to provide peace of mind.

He aha Te Aka Haumi o Tahu?

It came about when I was invited to come to the rūnanga to bounce around some ideas about the forming of this directory. I was totally sold. The idea of bouncing the dollar between whānau really appealed to me. It was very important to me to show a positive slant on our people and this is one of those chances. Māori are amazing entrepreneurs and businesspeople. I thought it was a great idea to bring like-minded people together to build a strong Māori economy.

From a practical sense, let’s say you want to through a party and you need flowers, decorations, catering…and at the touch of a keyboard your party is created. It’s that easy. Let your fingers do the walking.

He aha tō whakaaro mo tā tātou mauri?

From a personal perspective, we are building a bright secure future for our moko.

If it is to be it’s up to me.”

It’s got to start somewhere. The journey of pushing myself to be the best I can be. Stepping out of my comfort zone – that’s generally where the pot of gold is. You really find it outside your comfort zone. Every no, every closed door is inspiration to keep going. To get close to that yes. If you want to get what you want, you need to keep going. When times get tough and you’re faced with a challenge, dig deep, you will always get what you need to get through.