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Our Stories
Highlights of 2022
December 22, 2022

Nau mai: Te Maia Pihema, Intern


As part of a partnership arrangement that Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Māia has with University of Victoria to support tauira studying at the uni with scholarships, Whai Māia reciprocated by offering an internship with Whai Rawa’s Law and Finance teams.

Te Maia Pihema (Te Rarawa) applied for the internship, noting that the iwi’s focus to create a greater future for whanau and future generations aligns with his passion for working with Māori, for Māori and to benefit Māori.

Currently completing a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance and Management, Te Maia studies in Wellington but grew up in Red Beach, Auckland. He is just over halfway through his degree and was encouraged to apply for an internship to gain some industry experience to upskill his studies.  

Te Maia’s two month internship began in December and he is already enjoying learning how the finance and in house legal team operates.

“I hope to take away a better understanding of the operations at Whai Rawa and gain skills such as analysing financial reports, prepping legal documents and understanding expectations in a corporate setting,” he says.  

When discussing his goals, Te Maia is looking forward to taking all opportunities that are given to him and maximising them, as well as meeting lots of people and learning from them throughout his time at Whai Rawa. He believes the internship will allow him to gain experience in both legal and finance work, meaning Te Maia is also able to gauge which area he may like to pursue in the future.

“Its great to be working in an environment where everyone is so supportive and encouraging. I am enjoying working for an organisation where the focus is on supporting and growing assets for Māori and I am eager to learn more and see what I can bring to the table.”

Outside of work, Te Maia loves to spend as much time as he can in the ocean and is a keen surfer and surf lifesaver. Surf lifesaving is a big part of his life, having competed since he was 10 years old. He also loves basketball and plays both socially and competitively when in Wellington. Alongside his studies, Te Maia is a Māori Student Ambassador for Victoria University, as well as as Co-Tumuaki of Ngā Tāura Ūmanga, VUW Māori Student Commerce Association.

We are very excited to have Te Maia on board and look forward to nurturing his talents. Kia pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi.