July 20, 2023

Kia Puāwai Winter Studentship recipient: Reuben George Himiona Nightingale

Kia Puāwai Winter Studentship recipient: Reuben George Himiona Nightingale

Ko Reuben George Himiona Nightingale tōku ingoa.  

Ko Te Rarawa, ko Ngāpuhi ko Ngāti Maniapoto ōku iwi.

After leaving High School in Year 10 I became a recluse and spent nearly five years on the internet, living at home with my Mum. Most of my time I was browsing the internet searching for world news, history and events that pertained to social and environmental justice (especially, definitely animals!). I then spent a decade working in the hospitality sector where I encountered many people, and my fascination for human behaviour began to flourish in a real life context. So, entering the realm of people centered research was a natural progression for me. In 2020 I started pursuing a degree in Psychology and Social Policy at Waikato University; I began to explore the field of Kaupapa Māori Psychology and Community Psychology, and quickly found that I am able to put forward greater levels of engagement in my learning when exploring Māori issues. Tertiary study has revealed that I am passionate about improving the well-being of Māori communities and that through my engagement in academic research I hold real potential in supporting the development and implementation of tangible benefits for Māori people and community.

Throughout my academic journey so far, I have found great fulfillment in connecting my cultural heritage with my learning. Reflecting on the generational trauma and the impact of colonial rule on our people allows me to recognise the profound importance of research in addressing these issues. By engaging in research, I see an opportunity to contribute to the restoration of our sovereignty.

In envisioning a flourishing 2050 for Māori, I aspire to witness a future that sees:

  • A constitution inspired by Te Tiriti and he whakaputanga.
  • Sovereign rights and citizenship granted to our waters that have nourished our people, environment  and  ecology for millennia gone by and to come.
  • A month in the year dedicated to serving, memorializing and forgiving our countries needless and illegal history of warfare because social progression requires acknowledgment and real work.
  • Normalisation in the fluency of te reo Māori.
  • Streamlined kaupapa Māori tertiary education and career pathways.
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