Māori triplets commit to helping Northland community

Triplets Eru, Hemi and Tipene Kapa-Kingi from Ngāpuhi, who are studying together at Victoria University in Wellington, are looking to develop skills to help improve the Māori economy, health and alleviate poverty in Northland. Te Kāea spoke to them at the annual Māori student’s conference in Wellington.

“My goal is to create a business to boost the Māori economy in the North,” says BCom student Tipene Kapa-King.

“When we lived back home, we saw a large number of Māori in the hospital. I'm keen to learn whatever it takes to help our people,” says BA LLB student Hemi Kapa-Kingi.

“These are degrees that we think will help our Māori people,” says BA Bsc student Eru Kapa-Kingi.

The triplets were born in Rotorua but moved up North to attend Toku Mapihi Maurea Kōhanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa. As teenagers, they moved to mainstream education in Whangarei.

Tipene says, “Ever since we were born, we've been really tight and supportive of each other.”

Today they're attending the pōhiri for the annual Māori Students Conference at Te Herenga Waka Marae in Wellington. Over 300 students gathered to nurture their cultural identity and access support networks outside of their institutions.

Next year, the triplets will graduate in their respective fields.