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Whakapau kaha – to be better than before.

My name is Gowan Te Rangihou Duff, I am English and Maori – my iwi are Te Arawa (Rotorua) and Ngai Te Rangi (Tauranga). My professional background is in law where I have worked in international arbitration, Cook Islands law and criminal law. I am currently a solicitor for an insurance litigation firm. My brother attended CPDS from 2005 – 2006. My wife, Chanel, and I have three daughters at CPDS; Amelia (year 4), Olivia (year 1) and Ellie (year 1). Chanel and I are involved with the Kapahaka group, sports teams and Chanel helps out in the classroom/school trips.

It is a cliché, but what makes CPDS special is the community of parents and teachers, which was emphasised on the haerenga to Rotorua. I am keen to be a part of the decision making process that looks at how we can take away from the haerenga experience and incorporate that into CPDS – on a personal note, because of the haerenga I am now studying te reo Maori at Unitec.

I am the first to admit that I have limited knowledge about tikanga and te ao Maori. Notwithstanding this, I have close friends that are well versed in tikanga and te ao Maori and would not hesitate to call on their knowledge or reach out to other people.

What I am keen to see happen at CPDS (and New Zealand generally) is an emphasis on removing the ‘scare’ factor of trying to speak Maori and a strong push to teach more history/whakapapa. This will create a strong sense of whanaungatanga/belonging and would be something that, along with the All Blacks, all New Zealanders would have in common and distinguish us from the world.

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