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Wednesday 17 October 2018 2:44pm

Lyric Bird image
Bachelor of Arts (Maori Studies) student Lyric Bird has been selected to travel to Chile as part of the Te Hononga ā Kiwa Māori Business CAPE Study Tour.

A University of Otago tauira selected for a delegation to Chile is hoping to build lifelong connections and highlight the benefits of speaking Te Reo Māori.

Lyric Bird has been selected to travel to Chile as part of the Te Hononga ā Kiwa Māori Business CAPE Study Tour. The 11-day programme aims to increase Māori business capability and awareness, while improving business access and networking in the North Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America regions.

The Bachelor of Arts (Māori Studies) student of Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou and Rongowhakaata descent is the only representative from the South Island among the 10-tauira delegation.

“For me I am very blessed and proud to represent the University of Otago, but most importantly representing Te Tumu, our school of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies,” she says.

“I'm proud to be a Te Tumu kid, and I think it's very important for tauira Māori at Otago to see that Te Reo can take you places and that me going to Chile is just one of the many opportunities that are out there.”

It is Lyric's second international trip in 2018, having been selected for the Matariki Indigenous Student Exchange earlier this year.

The tour to Chile will include a focus on Māori and indigenous identities, and how they are framed in relation to doing business between the two countries.

The group will also connect with industry experts in Chile and have an opportunity to analyse how businesses operate in a Latin American context. Lyric is also eyeing up an opportunity to connect with local indigenous cultures.

“I also hope to share and exchange the indigenous knowledge that has been passed down from our tipuna.

“I'm also excited about how they operate their businesses and how we Māori can do the same, if not improve what we are doing and how we can do that as Māori, for Māori by Māori.”

Lyric leaves for Chile on November 11.

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