Vienna Pahi-Samuels

Rototuna Senior High School

Vienna is a year 13 Māori student at Rototuna Senior High School, in Hamilton, Waikato, where they hold projects which helps connect students with the community and as Vienna took the tikanga Māori projects, she got to connect with mana whenua of where Rototuna Senior High stands (Ngati Wairere), and local marae (Hukanui Marae).

Vienna attended Blake Inspire in 2019. Since then she has moved cities and went through a huge learning of her culture, the tikanga, the history, the whakapapa, maramataka, and being able to connect to te ao Māori with her daily life and everything she loves, and it has become one of her biggest passions.

Other passions of hers include music, swimming and anything to do with the water/ocean, and, quite obviously, the environment.

In her last year of School, she is taking biology, chemistry, astronomy, te reo Māori, and english and is torn between going into environmental sciences/marine biology or law at university. 

Her latest opportunity allowed her to sail on a traditional polynesian/Māori waka, from Auckland to around the Coromandel and up to the Bay of Islands, where she finished her voyage in Waitangi. On that voyage she got to sail and swim in clear blue deep and healthy water.It also helped her understand herself as a kaitiaki of the environment and what that really means.