Growing the Puna Interns

During August, Breanna, Jade and Micah, Massey University students in their final year of the Masters of Dietetics, did a three week placement with Toi Tangata for the Growing the Puna programme. During this time they completed research on current and/or indigenous nutrition education initiatives, ran focus groups and completed a report compiling their recommendations for the programme.

The students were keen to learn everything they could about not only Toi Tangata but how we work with our communities. The experience offered them a different take from the more clinical elements of their study. Both students said they gained a wealth of knowledge in regards to working in a public health setting through a Māori lens and learned valuable skills for their future careers in Dietetics.

“Due to both having Māori heritage, we have both thoroughly enjoyed our time here at Toi Tangata gaining insight and knowledge to our culture we are both so interested in learning about,” they said.

After identifying a gap in the sector, the Growing the Puna programme was formed to connect physical activity and/or nutrition students coming through tertiary providers with both Māori communities and the health sector.

“We cannot thank Toi Tangata enough for welcoming us, guiding us and supporting us throughout our placement. We have enjoyed every learning with you and we feel totally inspired to pursue our journey into Māori health.”

Breanna Edge

Ko Whangatauatia toku maunga
Ko Kariri kura toku awa
Ko Ngatokimatawhaorua toku waka
Ko Wainui, Roma me Korou oku marae
Ko Ahipara toku kainga
Ko Ngati Moetonga toku hapu
Ko Te Rarawa te iwi
Ko Breanna Jade toku ingoa

My name is Breanna Edge. I was born in Whangarei but grew up in Auckland. I have family that live in all areas of Whangarei and I love going up to spend time at Pataua North whenever I can. My dad’s side is Maori, and my Nana always loved to tell me about my Maori heritage. Now that I am older I would love to know even more and visit places where my whanau lived previously.

Micah Hintz

No Whakaahurangi ahau
Ko Taranaki toku maunga
Ko Waitara toku awa
Ko Ngati Rahiri toku iwi
Kei Puketapu toku kainga inaianei
Ko Micah toku ingoa

My name is Micah Hintz. I am from Taranaki and have grown up there my whole life. I did my undergraduate degree in BSc in Human Nutrition down at The University of Otago and then came up to Massey University for my Masters in Dietetics. Similar to Breanna, it is my Dad’s side that has Māori whakapapa. My great nana was my only connection to my Māori heritage but sadly she passed when I was younger and I never really got the opportunity to talk to her about it. It was for that reason that I was never really involved in Māori culture. However, I have now grown a great interest in Māori health.