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May 16, 2011 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Ngāi Tauira – Paper, Paper, Money, Money

What to write about money? The most obvious thing to do is to comment that as students, many of us are regularly short of this commodity. It’s something that we need to survive, but when it comes to studies and those ‘extracurricular’ activities, it comes in at a very late third. Not for lack of trying though. Money pays the rent. It pays the bills. And any leftover goes towards food. When you’re in need, you damn well scram to get the funds to live.

So, putting on our helpful hat, here are some ideas that you can try to get some pūtea in your pūkoro:

• Get a job. The simplest yet most cumbersome thing you can do. The best jobs are those that are flexible enough that you can still attend classes and have some time to study. Hard to do in those minimum paid jobs. And those high-paying jobs? Hard to get when people are looking for qualified people.
• Student loan. Self-explanatory. You’re a student. It’s a loan.
• Course-related costs. Check it out. This is a HUGE help with those things you need for classes that you don’t have the funds for. That are course-related. Of course.
• Scholarships and grants. There are a lot out there. Google to find out what’s available to you. Get in touch with your iwi organisation or check out the Māori Education Trust for a good list of scholarships to apply for.
• Financial support and advice. Here’s where you go for better advice than what is being presented here. Seriously. Even if you’re not in dire straits, go and see them for budgeting advice.

Failing all of this, here’s something in an attempt to make you feel better:

E tipu, e rea mō ngā ra o tau ao;
Ko to ringa ki ngā rakau a te Pākehā
Hei ara mō to tinana,
Ko to ngākau ki ngā taonga a o tipuna Maori
Hei tikitiki mō to mahunga,
A, ko to wairua ki to Atua,
Nana nei ngā mea katoa.

– Sir Apirana Ngata

It’s kind of fitting that our tipuna who said this has his face on the $50 note—this is the money issue after all—but $50 in this sense goes beyond its currency value. Apirana Ngata gives some good advice to follow because money aside, we’re all here to climb that poutama, to get to that taumata, where that paper called ‘a degree’ is waving. But we always gotta keep in mind where we’ve come from. We’ve all come a long way. Striving to fill our kete with mātauranga; it’s a hard road for the most part but rest assured you’re not alone. For fear of sounding like a cheesy High School Musical rerun, I’m loath to say it this way, but we’re all in this together. And not only will this benefit ourselves, but also our whānau, hapū and iwi.

Kia kaha tauira mā, e tipu e rea. The money will follow.


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