He says the unreliable internet connection was a further challenge as he frequently needed to source information online from the library at Victoria.Timi was grateful however, to have the support of his supervisor Professor John Pratt.

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And so, indirectly my MA in Sociology has helped me to develop a better understanding of how mātauranga Māori should be, and can be promoted. I made good friends and learnt a lot from the lecturers.

As a master's student, having my own office (to share with my awesome office mate Jean), was so helpful.

I'm not sure if every school in the University offers offices to MA students.

The most interesting part of my degree was reading Michel Foucault and using his theories/ideas to analyse my data set.

I also enjoyed talking to other students about their theses - hearing about what other people are passionate about is really interesting. But for the moment I am enjoying working and getting paid! Back to top ^ “I was excited to be there and my family was really excited.

But it was also hard because I was looking forward to my mum witnessing this time.”Timi’s mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and in the following year her condition became critical.

Despite being halfway through his Master’s thesis, Timi moved back to Tuvalu to be with her.“I wanted to put my Master’s on hold but she advised me to continue. I had to force myself to study to make her happy.”Timi says it was a stressful time for the family and it was difficult to concentrate on his studies.

14 July 2016 "After finishing my MA in Sociology I have been employed as an Assistant Research Fellow in the Women's Health Research Centre at the University of Otago, Wellington.

I am working on a qualitative study looking at whether HPV DNA self-testing (via vaginal swab) might be an alternative to current cervical screening (Pap-smear via speculum) for Māori women who are not accessing the National Cervical Screening Programme.

Up till now I have been working on a literature review and ethics - so it has been a lot like post-graduate study.

I am also going to be working on other projects as they come along. Some of the sociological theories (of Michel Foucault in particular) have given me tools for exploring culture as a social construction, and for thinking about how power functions to progress or repress/suppress certain peoples/cultures.