Christie Leef

Te Hikutu, Te Rōroa -

My grandfather left the farm in Hokianga in the 1950s and travelled to Auckland with the whānau looking for work.  What amazes me is that some 65 years on, the situation hasn’t changed; job opportunities are still not readily available.  We don’t even have the land we owned back then!!! 

Following the Treaty Settlement for Ngāpuhi, a wide range of scholarship funding should be made available for all descendants of Ngāpuhi who wish to achieve, whether it be academic, sports, music etc.  We are all gifted in many different areas, so we shouldn't be restricted to just one or two fields.  I would also like to see our rangatahi have affordable access to further education programmes enabling and upskilling them as they enter the workforce.    

My aspiration is that we build a “Ngāpuhi Maori School of Arts” where our people can channel their gifted talents instead of being wasted due to lack of opportunity and resource.  Who knows what doors will open.  I believe many success stories will follow them.  

There is so much yet to be learnt about our Ngāpuhi history.  My whānau and I will continue on this journey as I want to live more in a Maori world, not a Pakeha world.