Like many students Tyson Tautari tried several subjects before deciding on a major at university.
“I covered subjects from Food Science to Social Work and then finally found my feet in the Indigenous Development programme at Te Tumu, School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, where I learnt a lot about myself, and my culture.
“I really enjoyed the wide range of subjects offered within the department including Te Reo (language) papers, Māori societal papers, Tikanga, Pacific Identity papers, Kai Tahu history papers and Treaty papers amongst many more.
“What I enjoyed most about studying through Te Tumu was the whānau feeling. The teaching support was incredible; they were approachable and welcoming, and all genuinely wanted to see their students succeed.
“There are other support systems for Māori students at Otago as well through the Māori Students Association, known as Te Roopū Māori, and the Māori Centre.
“You gain a lot of things from being at University. You learn a lot about yourself and you truly find what you are capable of. The biggest thing I gained from studying was responsibility and time management.
“I’m currently employed as a Flight Attendant at Air New Zealand operating on the airline’s Mount Cook regional fleet. Through my role I’m given the opportunity to share my passion for our country and culture with our customers each and every day.
“Our flights are frequented by travellers from all over the world who have an appreciation and interest for New Zealand and our rich culture and history. As a recent graduate of the University of Otago I’m able to use the knowledge gained throughout my degree to share some our culture with them and help to provide a unique flying experience.
“The airline’s increased use of te reo Māori has also given me an opportunity to use some of the language skills gained during my degree and share this special part of our culture.”