Aaron Hapuku, DPH Graduate.
Aaron currently works as a Māori Health Promoter for Community & Public Health, Canterbury District Health Board.
While Aaron's undergraduate degree is in Māori Performing Arts, his motivation to study for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (DPH) was his passion for Māori health, Mana Motuhake, and how whānau and communities can be meaningfully empowered to take back their own health and wellbeing on their own terms
"I really wanted to combine my passion for hauora Māori and public health with sound academic qualifications that can make that passion a career. Understanding the history of Māori health and the challenges our communities face in achieving their own aspirations is crucial to knowing where to begin, and the right way to engage with people."
The papers also gave him a broad base of knowledge around designing and implementing health promotion programmes, the power of public health policy and learning to understand epidemiological data and research papers.
"Being able to validate our knowledge and experiences as indigenous people with relevant post graduate qualifications allows us to stand confidently in both worlds.
"I have been inspired by the knowledge of the academic staff and the number of amazing Māori lecturers and researchers that make up the team at Te Whare Wānanga o Otago. My future goal is to complete a Master of Public Health in an area that will contribute to our understanding of what works in our Māori communities."
Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōna te ngahere.
Ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga, nōna te ao.
The bird that partakes of the miro berry owns the forest.
The bird that partakes of knowledge owns the world.