Education Profiles: Levi Collier-Robinson and Holly McLaren

Posted on 23 May 2017

Education Profiles: Levi Collier-Robinson and Holly McLaren

Congratulations to Levi Collier-Robinson and Holly McLaren, recipients of 2016 Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Trust Education Grants.


Levi Collier-ROBINSON

Ko Kurahaupo te waka
Ko Paparoa te Pae Maunga
Ko Kawatiri te awa
Ko Rotoiti, ko Rotoroa ngā roto 
Ko mātou ngā uri o te whenua nei
Ko Puaha te rangi te hapū
Ko Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō te iwi
Ko Meretiana (Mary Jane) Mahuika rāua ko 
Wiremu Wilson ōku tipuna
Ko June Wilson rāua ko Tiare Robinson ōku mātua tipuna
Ko Fayne Robinson rāua ko Dianne Collier ōku mātua
Ko Meretiana tōku tuāhine
Ko Alex tōku tuakana
Ko Tahupōtiki tōku teina
Ko Levi Fayne Maakawhio Collier-Robinson tōku ingoa.


I have been asked to write a little about myself, so here goes … . Despite growing up with asthma and many allergies, I have always played sports; during my school years I played football, basketball, golf, and tenpin bowling. When I moved to the South Island from Rotorua in 2006, I began playing rugby league, and continued with tenpin bowling and basketball. Now, at university, I continue to play basketball socially as a way to keep fit and healthy.
Here at university I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in 2016, and I am now studying towards my Masters of Science. This course of study has had its ups and downs, including the location of study: I started at Canterbury, wanted to experience student life away from home and completed year two at Otago University, and have now returned home to Canterbury to continue my studies.


Over the past four years I have more closely identified my interest levels: when I started I didn’t really know what I wanted to do for a career, but was told by all to get started and “you will figure it out”. I have since developed an interest in ecology and conservation biology and hope to continue to develop my knowledge of these areas.


Because I had changed universities, and I was unsure of which area of biological sciences to specialize in, I have had to take some year 2 pre-requisite papers in my third year, which transformed my BSc in to a four-year degree. After completing my final year of my bachelor’s degree, I received a summer scholarship from the University of Canterbury that allowed me work on a freshwater ecology research topic over the summer. I now have much more field experience and knowledge of the current research happening at UC which will be extremely valuable to me moving forward.


Next year will be the beginning of part 2 of my MSc which will involve doing my own novel research and synthesizing new information and knowledge that can benefit society. I am starting to talk with potential supervisors and I know a career pathway will open for me, and it is due to the belief that my iwi has shown in me by way of scholarship support, that my student debt will not be as enormous as my cousins’ are!


I know that my people, my whānau, my iwi, believe in me, and have invested in me personally, and in my future, and I hope to be able to put this learning to good use in the years to come. I am extremely grateful for this support.


My involvement with the iwi has been somewhat limited, as the necessity of having weekend or holiday work is a reality of student life these days, and I am always working (or studying, of course!) when cultural events take place. When I can attend, however, I will!


E kore e mutu tōku maioha ki a koutou o Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō; mō tō koutou whakapono mai ki ahau, kia akiaki ai, kia puawai ahupūngao ai, kia ora ai.
Māu te rourou, mākū te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi.


Nāku iti noa, nā
Levi Collier-Robinson

Holly McLaren

Tena ra koutou katoa

Ko Papahoua te maunga

Ko Kawatiri te awa

Ko Kurahaupō te waka

Ko Hoani Mahuika te tangata

Ko Puaha Te Rangi te hapū

Ko Ngati Apa Ki Te Ra To te iwi

Ko Holly McLaren ahau

Having worked previously within the justice system and child care and protection arenas, I am now entering my 14th in Māori mental health.  I am employed as a Pukenga Atawhai (cultural assessor) in an adult community mental health team within the Specialist Mental Health Service for the Canterbury District Health Board.

Having previously gained a number of undergraduate qualifications, I am excited to be able to begin my next step of tertiary study through the University of Otago.  With the support of Ngati Apa ki te Rā Tō I will begin working towards a Degree in Health Science, endorsed in Mental Health.

My goal is to remain working in hauora Maori to ensure greater access to services with better outcomes.  That the needs of Māori are acknowledged, respected and the correct supports and treatments are available to our whānau.

Mauri ora!

Holly McLaren

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