Ray of sunshine wins Dr Hare Puke Māori Leadership Scholarship

Reina Daji in Wintec’s city campus library

Reina Daji in Wintec’s city campus library

Reina Daji, Wintec’s Library Customer Service Assistant, has just been named as the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Hare Puke Māori Leadership Scholarship.

Reina, who is of Ngā Puhi and Ngāti Tūwharetoa descent, was chosen for her passion for improving the services she provides for students in the library, and boldly introducing te reo Māori and cultural elements.

“Reina recognised the need for creating a large scale kete (kit) of resources to guide students study both in the library, and in her role as kaiāwhina for the new physiotherapy programme. She also wants to expand and grow her leadership skills as an extension of Wintec’s He Manukura Māori programme,” says Wintec Director of Māori, Hera White.

“Reina came across in her application as a young person that Hare Puke would want to nurture.”

Reina said it is truly an honour to be selected as this year’s recipient.

“Honestly, I was completely stunned when Whaea Hera shared with me the incredible news. I was on a “happiness high” for the next few days and so excited for the amazing opportunities that I’ll be able to participate in this year.”

Wintec established the scholarship in 2008 for staff to recognise and honour its late kaumātua, Dr Hare Puke. Its goal is to enable Māori staff to gain further leadership and management skills.

“I have a deep respect for kaumātua Hare Puke and the work he did here at Wintec and throughout our community. To even be considered for this scholarship, which carries with it so much mana, esteem and prestige, and has been awarded to staff members of remarkable calibre in the past, is a profound privilege to me. I will certainly do my best to make the most of it this year,” says Reina.

Reina is planning to utilise the scholarship to continue participating in a Women and Leadership New Zealand programme called, Leading Edge.

“Leading Edge is designed to enable the transition of aspiring and early career women into confident, capable and motivated leaders,” says Reina.

Several of the programme’s key themes, such as ‘Effective Interpersonal Communication’, ‘Emotional Intelligence and Conflict Resolution’, and ‘Leading in Times of Change’ are good indicators of what Reina is hoping to gain over the coming months.

The scholarship has a value of $15,000 per year and one additional week of professional development leave.

As Customer Service Assistant in the Library, Reina focuses on the customer experience in the Library, creating an inviting and comfortable space for everyone to feel welcome and respected.

“A typical day at work for me has changed significantly this year with acquiring not one, but two, additional roles here at Wintec. One as kaiāwhina for the brand-new Physiotherapy programme, where I help provide extra pastoral care support for those students, and the other as an exam supervisor for the Centre for Languages on the weekends.

“I am busy this year and working hard to keep up with it all, but each of my roles is incredibly rewarding. It is a pleasure to come to work each day,” explains Reina.

Reina at the Wintec 2018 Staff Awards

Reina with her Improvement and Opportunity award at the Wintec 2018 Staff Awards

Not only is Reina the 2019 recipient of the Hare Puke scholarship, but she also won the Improvement and Opportunity Award at Wintec’s 2018 Staff Awards.

Liaison Librarian, Rachel Axcell explains that Reina has been a member of the library team for more than 18 months and has really stamped her mark.

“Reina has encouraged and supported the library team in learning te reo Māori, with each library meeting now starting with a karakia and waiata, bringing us closer together.

“Reina has embraced all personal development opportunities that have come her way, winning a scholarship to attend the Te Rōpū Whakahau conference last year. She is also part of the Wintec He Manukura Māori group, and relishes being around such inspirational women at Wintec. She always eagerly reports back on her experiences, so our team can gain new knowledge through her.

“The library and Wintec are a sunnier place with Reina in it," says Rachel.

Read more:
Dr Hare Puke Māori Leadership Scholarship awarded
Māori leader wins Hare Puke scholarship