Maori Programme Coordinator
Cherie is a descendant of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Hine mē Te Atihaunui-ā-Pāpārangi. Raised in the small town of Ruatoria on the beautiful East Coast of New Zealand, Cherie has acquired a great depth of knowledge of Te Reo and Tikanga Māori and has been heavily involved in community and marae activities.
Cherie was educated at TKKM o Te Waiū o Ngāti Porou and is a recipient of the University of Auckland Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship for top Māori and Pacific Scholars, the Ngārimu VC and 28th Māori Battalion Scholarship and Hauora Māori Scholarship. Cherie is in her final year at the University of Auckland studying toward a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts Conjoint degree, double majoring in Sport and Exercise Science and Physiology and conjoint in Māori Studies. Cherie also holds a Personal Training and Exercise Consultant Qualification from the New Zealand Institute of Health and Fitness.
Cherie is passionate about kaupapa Māori and improving the Health and well-being of Māori people. Cherie has been a mentor, ambassador and counsellor for many University and Youth programmes, including the Chancellor’s Award for Top Scholars, BEAMS (Business, Engineering, Architecture, Medicine, Science) programme, Tuakana Programme, Whaia Te Pae Tawhiti and the FSY (For the Strength of Youth) conference.
Cherie’s vision is that success for Māori, high education, good employment and better Health outcomes become a ‘social norm’ and the stereotypical labelling of Māori as unsuccessful, having low education, being unemployed and having the worse health outcomes is negated. In order to achieve this, Cherie believes it simply starts at a micro level, through nurturing love and good values in the tamariki (children) in the home and schools. The children are not only the leaders of tomorrow but are also the parents of the leaders of tomorrow. Rather than focusing on macro level policies, Cherie believes by small steps toward love and positivity, great things can be achieved. The Peace Education Programmes allow children to achieve their ultimate potential by learning excellent communication skills and understanding from a tikanga Māori perspective, the importance of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and acknowledging the intrinsic tapu of each person. Identity is imperative, understanding who we are not only individually, culturally or nationally, but also understanding that we are all related globally as brothers and sisters of an ultimate creator.
“He aha te mea nui o tēnei ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata”
“What is the greatest thing in this world? It is people, it is people, it is people.”