"Hapaitia te ara tika pumau ai te rangatiratanga mo nga uri whakatipu"
Foster the pathway of knowledge to strength, independence and growth for future generations
Matua grew up in the small Maori village of Whakaki on the East Coast of Aotearoa. Along with his three siblings he was enrolled into bi-lingual schooling to coincide with the cultural influence that his parents had instilled at home. It was here his desire to learn was established which then developed into a deep appreciation for education.
From a young age growing up in rural New Zealand, Matua had a fascination with science. This fascination was supported when he won the Hawkes Bay regional science award while still at intermediate school. His experiment was to source E.coli bacteria from Wairoa Hospital and grow in it on algae plates while testing whether traditional Maori Rongoa, such as Kowahi, Kawakawa and Manuka would inhibit or even eradicate the bacteria. These early trials in science and willingness to challenge Western Medicine with Traditional Maori medicine would encourage and expand his learning later in life.
At 17 Matua moved out of home to pursue studies at Auckland University and, in addition, worked part-time as a Tutor to support himself and pay for his education. He acknowledges the financial support from NRAIT that contributed towards living costs and enabled him to concentrate on his studies. Matua’s hard work and dedication were rewarded when he graduated with distinction from Auckland Medical School in 2008.
Upon graduation, Matua accepted an offer from Liverpool Hospital in Sydney, Australia where he completed his internship and residency. Following this, he decided to stay within the New South Wales hospital network to work in various medical officer roles in order to gain more experience in the different fields of medicine and work within a variety of teams.
2016 saw Matua enrol at Auckland University to study an MBA. He sees this as the next logical step in his career development. One of his goals is to gain the necessary business skills, via an MBA, to become an NRAIT Trustee. He has a special interest in Financial Management and would like to contribute towards the identification of new investments and making a significant impact that will grow the prosperity of NRAIT for the benefit of future generations. Returning to New Zealand is the next step in his lifelong dedication to affecting positive change in the wider Maori community.
Matua’s MBA studies will provide him with a more in-depth focus and broaden his knowledge in the business world while continuing his lifelong passion for learning and education. Over time he plans to move away from clinical medicine and into executive management with the goal to become an effective and efficient leader not only within his whānau and iwi but also within the wider healthcare and business fields. The desire to move away from clinical medicine has come about gradually while working the past 8 years in the hospital system and realising that to make long-lasting change at a community or local level than you must be involved in the decisions at an executive level that reform the system structure.
Attending the 2014 Ohu Maatu was a small turning point in Matua’s life as it rekindled a passion for whānau and kaupapa Maori. Matua also attended Ohu Maatu in 2016 which further reinforced his desire to be part of NRAIT and highlighted the areas he believes he can contribute towards.
NRAIT is proud of Matua and his achievements to date and wishes him well for the remainder of his studies.
Update from Matua - January 2017
Firstly, I would like to thank the Board for their ongoing support. Notwithstanding the financial assistance, to be supported and acknowledged for continuing my studies has been a constant reminder that completing the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) is more than a personal aspiration.
2016 was an amazing year. Full-time work and study has been extremely challenging but also very rewarding. Heading back to university after a number of years was initially daunting but by setting clear goals, maintaining good routines, and remaining focused I have made good progress on my path to becoming a future business leader within Aotearoa and the Asia-Pacific region.
I have been successful to date in achieving my ambitious goal of completing the MBA with distinction and an A average.
Particular areas where I have excelled in have been Strategic Management, Financial Management and Operations and Supply Chain.
2017 has already begun with our first lecturers, held last weekend, in Managing Business Growth and Managers and the Law. It is obvious from this start, that 2017 will be even more difficult than 2016 with an increased work-load, international travel and studies, as well as a detailed research paper.
I am encouraged by the whakatauki:
Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei
Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.
My interpretation is that 'Aiming high for what is truly valuable will be challenging but through persistence and determination you will overcome the obstacles and reach your goal’.
Update - October 2017
Matua is thankful to NRAIT for their ongoing support which has allowed him to focus on his studies rather than financial worries. He feels it is a privilege and honour to be supported by the Trust and enjoyed attending and speaking at Ohu Maatu 2017.
One of the final papers for his Master's of Business Administration (MBA) is an organisational study which aims to summarise the past two years of his studies as well as completing an action plan for the next five years of his career.
This year, as part of the MBA, Matua travelled to Vietnam to develop a market entry strategy for a Manuka-honey flavoured drink. The trip was informative on many levels including educational and cultural avenues. With a population over 90 million and one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Vietnam is an attractive market for New Zealand businesses. The Maori and Vietnamese cultures share a strong sense of collectivism, resilience and a focus on independence and sovereignty. The trip was a great learning experience with new networks and relationships made with local and international businesses.
Matua is enjoying his studies and the sense of purpose and direction it provides towards his future. He is committed to contributing to the Trust in the future by using his background in medicine and his growing experience in administration and management.