EIT graduate Aspen Edwards very much identifies with the Cook Island Māori culture.
Like her parents and siblings, Aspen was born in New Zealand. However, her mother’s family originally came from Rarotonga and the family home in Hastings reflects that, with pictures of island scenes and tītaevae (tapa cloth) adorning the walls.
After three challenging years studying for her Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education), the former Karamu High School student shyly admits to feeling proud about graduating earlier this year.
I am a lot more than a babysitter,” she tells her brothers and sisters of her job at a Hastings childcare centre. “I am a teacher.”