Lucy Pia is one of our seven interns who have been given the opportunity to work alongside our staff and gain hands-on experience. She has been based in Te Tai Tokerau office for the duration of summer until she returns to university at the end of February.
Lucy is about to embark on her 3rd year of law at AUT University, and after living with mum and dad all summer, she is ready to go back to Auckland and begin her studies in the new semester.
Her whānau are Ngāpuhi from Tuhirangi Marae, Waimā in the Hokianga and both of Lucy’s parents have nursing backgrounds, as well as a large proportion of her whanau. When Lucy made the decision to enrol in a Bachelor of Laws it was a refreshing and welcomed change.
“Law is a challenging degree but I enjoy it and am particularly interested in dispute resolution and Trust Law. I’ve always wanted to study Law since I was young, when I first went on a tour of Parliament with Phil Heatley, and sat in the debating chamber while the Rt Hon Helen Clark and Hon John Key were at each other’s throats, it was entertaining stuff!”
While here at Te Puni Kōkiri Lucy has participated in a wide range of mahi including experiencing a Treaty Settlement Hui alongside Ian Peters and Hon Christopher Finlayson, which Lucy explained was a very eye-opening and challenging day.
She has also worked with advisor Delwyn Hewson on a number of projects and initiatives including ‘Count Me In’, cadetships and funding applications. Lucy says that the mahi she is most proud of is being involved in the Manuka Planting Initiative which was launched in Te Tai Tokerau earlier in February.
“It’s really rewarding work at Te Puni Kōkiri. I have a big passion for Māori development. It’s great to have the opportunity to be a part of an organisation that provides Māori with supportive resources to further their development.”
“Everyone I work with share the same passion. I have seen just how Te Puni Kōkiri staff interacts out in the community and get an understanding of our role in the relationship between Māori and the Crown.”
“Te Puni Kōkiri has also let me connect with tikanga Māori and te reo. Growing up, our Māori culture wasn’t so integrated into my life. I did have partial involvement when I was younger and performed Kapa Haka, but I slowly strayed away as I grew up only to be chucked in the deep end when I started here so it’s been a great learning curb!”
Lucy has really appreciated her time at Te Puni Kōkiri. She’s been able to kōrero with walks of all life and is hugely thankful to the team that have let her shadow them (or “stalk” as Lucy puts it).
“They all work so hard and achieve such effective and positive results, they’re a good laugh and a great team to work with.”