UCOL Whanganui nursing student Tengaahere Peeti credits her whanau for her desire to help people. Photo/Supplied

Tengaahere Peeti’s whanau has been instrumental in her journey to becoming a nurse practitioner.

Despite being the first in her family to finish high school she credits her whanau for her drive and desire further her education.

Peeti is in her second year of study towards a Bachelor of Nursing degree at UCOL Whanganui having completed her first year in 2018 and a Certificate in Health Science in 2017.

She is also one of 19 UCOL Whanganui students (across a range of disciplines) to have been awarded a semester one scholarship following a rigorous selection process.

Peeti said her desire to become a nurse has roots in her upbringing and the values she learnt from her whanau.

The qualities of whanaungatanga (family) and manaakitanga (caring, supporting, hospitality, generosity and kindness) were instilled in her from a young age.

“I want to become a nurse because caring for others is how I was brought up, surrounded by whanau, my aunties, uncles and my parents and siblings (being the youngest of five).

“I also want to become a nurse to support my family and be a rolem odel for my daughter, as well as give back to my hapu, iwi and whanau.”

She hopes to use her education to improve the health outcomes of others, especially Māori.

“My whanau have been so supportive with my journey of becoming a registered nurse.

“They have been my backbone and reason why I continue to be where I am today. Without them I would not be able to do this.”

Her studies have, so far, been challenging and rewarding and Peeti has discovered more about herself than she realised.

“I like the fact that I have grown as a person.”

She now describes herself as a strong, successful, hardworking, caring and determined woman.

The student is also humble and when asked about being the first in her family to finish high school, and in the future to gain a degree, she said she doesn’t think much of it but getting an education is what she wanted to do.

After she graduates and passes the Nursing Council State Final Examination she hopes to complete a master’s degree and become a nurse practitioner as well as teach.

“I decided to do this because I want to continue to learn and continue to fill my kete until I have achieved something that I am satisfied with.

“I also love to learn, it’s become a drive for me to keep going. I love that moment when it hits me and I understand the rationale or mechanism of how and why.”

When she first started studying Health Science at UCOL she enjoyed it so much that she thought she wanted to become a doctor.

“The human body and the way it functions fascinated me and it made sense to me instead of math or essay writing so I thought maybe I could become something better and study nursing and become a nurse practitioner.”

Getting her degree will be a huge relief for Peeti who will know all her hard work has paid off.

“It means so much because it shows that I can do anything and keep going and continue to thrive.

“I know once I get it, it’s just the beginning but I cannot wait to have that feeling of I actually did it.”

Receiving the Akoranga Education Trust scholarship has helped cement the knowledge that she’s doing the right career.

“When I saw the email I wasn’t expecting it at all, I was shocked and happy at the same time.

“I felt like I’m on the right path, like someone believes in me that I can do this.

“It was another motivator in achieving this degree.”

The scholarship has also helped to pay off Peeti’s student loan.



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