17 Feb Head Students for 2022
We are pleased to introduce to the fabulous four who are our Head Students for 2022:
Hey there! My name is Carlos Norton and I am one of the Head Students for Pakuranga College in 2022! I am extremely excited to be able to take on this role and help create a student voice for our school and whānau!
I was raised in Auckland, New Zealand, and prior to Pakuranga College I attended Sunnyhills Primary and Farm Cove Intermediate. From a young age, I have been dedicated to the arts. I have vivid memories of my siblings, cousins and I creating whole performances for our families, dancing around the living room, laughing, performing them as if they were absolute gold. That passion and love for the arts has stayed with me for all 13 years of my education and has not dwindled once. From performing on stage at school in our various musicals, to a more professional setting at our local Harlequin Theatre, I have no lack of experience in putting myself out into the world and expressing myself. Through my passion in the arts, I have met lifelong friends and developed my leadership skills to a point where I have been given the opportunity to talk to you all now!
Prior to Head Student, I lead as a Kauri House Leader and Peer Supporter, as well as an executive member of the Arts Council. I performed in the school’s Rock and Roll club, and even went to the Junior Rock and Roll Nationals in which me and my partner placed second in New Zealand for our category! I have participated in various other events, all which wouldn’t be possible without me putting myself out there, taking a risk, and getting involved!
If all goes to plan, after this year I plan on studying communications at university and working on screen. I have always loved the magic of films, and the passion that people put into their projects. Who knows, one day I might work with such icons as Meryl Streep or Florence Pugh!
However, moving back on track, none of us would be Head Students if it wasn’t for every single one of you! We have all influenced each other in such incredible ways, and I cannot wait to see what other ideas and stories people come up with this year, I will be all ears!
I was born and raised in Panmure, East Auckland but have attended kindergarten through to college in Pakuranga. I am a descendant of Te Rarawa and hail from the small town of Panguru, located in the far north.
A little bit about me…
Throughout my time here, I have been actively engaged within several different kaupapa that college life has to offer ranging from House leadership, Kapa Haka, academic mentoring and more. Last year, I was also extremely grateful to work alongside the Goebel sisters in a joint effort to bring a programme into school. The programme, Crown Yourself, focused on the development of self efficacy within our junior, Māori, and Pasifika girls. This programme was an amazing opportunity for our young girls and I am hoping to continue it this year.
A significant part of my effort in leadership is focused towards the improvement of providing safe spaces for Māori students to establish connections to their ahurea (culture). So, if there was any advice I could give to other rangatahi about reclaiming their identity, it would be that…being Māori is a journey in itself but the experiences are rewarding. Our journey revolves around making mistakes and growing from them. It is influenced by establishing connections to our tūrangawaewae, our place of belonging. It is shaped by the willingness to listen and being listened to. It is developed by wanting to learn and knowing that we are capable of doing so. It is guided by our tūpuna who are an embodiment of strong values and morals. Our journey belongs to only us and we should uphold this birthright.
My next steps for after kura are to uptake a full immersion course in te reo Māori, where I’ll strive towards reaching fluency. If all goes well, I will head into university where I’m hoping to study a conjoint degree of Law and Māori Studies.
One of the best things about schooling at Pakuranga is the overwhelming support you receive within all aspects of college life. This year, I am eager to use my Head Student platform as a way to engage with our rangatahi and offer them the same support I have received throughout my schooling years here.
Anei tētahi whakataukī e tata ana ki tāku ngākau, “he waka eke noa” – we’re all in this together! Nā reira, tēnei te mihi ki a koutou!
Tēnā Koutou Katoa, my name is Charlotte Tukiri, and I have the immense pleasure of being selected as a Head Student for 2022. I am so excited to work with the other three Head Students — it really is a dream team!
I was born and raised in East Auckland, but it’s not the only place I call home. My whakapapa affiliates to Whaingaroa, where my whānau goes to reconnect with our heritage. Prior to Pakuranga, I attended Sunnyhills Primary and Farm Cove Intermediate.
During my time at Pakuranga College, I have been actively involved in school leadership opportunities like House Leader, Peer Support Leader, Māori Leadership and Whānau Tutor. I am a passionate public speaker who speaks competitively, with these competitions opening many academic doors and building many new connections. I have also played XI Football for our school, as well as doing academic tutoring and being involved in councils. It is through getting involved that I have found out where my passion and strengths lie, helping to direct me into my future and into the workforce.
My love for culture, people and learning is at the heart of what I want to do when I leave school. I aspire to go into first year Health-Science, and use that as a segue to apply for medical school. Participating in university programmes like Whakapiki Ake has opened my eyes to how culture and medicine work in accordance with one another, inspiring me to want to further enforce Mātauranga Māori and other cultural health beliefs into the health sector.
The main thing I love about Pakuranga is the widespread feeling of support, belonging and unity. It is this school culture that has grown confidence, ambition and belief within me — making my goal this year as a Head Student to offer my unwavering support to anyone who needs it, so they can feel the same.
We’ve got this whānau — I’m behind you all and I’ll see you around school!
To tell you a little bit about my life, I was born in Rotorua from two very beautiful Korean parents and moved to East Auckland when I was one year old and have been here ever since! I am passionate about people, libraries, drawing, and on occasion people-watching in a library while drawing.
Coming into Pakuranga College I was blessed to have been surrounded by some truly incredible people. I met mentors who would pull me along to extracurricular activities. I met teachers who I would grow to truly respect and admire from the bottom of my heart. I found myself in a community that was so diverse and fun I could not help going in deeper. I participated in councils, clubs, and sports and with each and through them I found experiences that moulded me into the person I am today.
It was the hectic late nights setting up the Open Day displays for the Maths Council and getting shouted pizza at the end. It was the quiet intimate moments of painting photo frames with only two other people for hours afterschool. It was the loud meetings full of inside jokes. It was the community of mutual respect and kinship that allowed for these experiences to exist.
So my goal for this year as Head Student is simple. I am going to help as many students find their own community they belong in and make sure they can experience the same sense of belonging as I do.