Ihaia is a Teacher at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Wānanga Whare Tapere o Takitimu – a total immersion Māori school based in Hastings. In 2019, Ihaia joined the BLAKE Inspire for Teachers along with 28 other teachers, and returned as a support staff during the BLAKE Inspire for Students in 2020. Since his exposure with BLAKE, Ihaia has endeavoured to improve awareness and better incorporate environmental education for his students, helping to ignite the spark that he felt after attending the programme.
Ihaia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Māori, as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Māori Medium Teaching under his belt. With these skills, paired with his learnings from different wānanga around the country, Ihaia is able to educate aspects relating to the cultural Identity of Māori, including the use of the Maramataka (the moon cycle), the philosophies of the Atua, and the language itself, weaving it all together with science to give scope and context for students as they explore the world around them.