Ko wai au?


  • Riki Paniora Te Roroa, Te Rarawa and Nga Puhi Nui Tonu. Senior lecturer on the Bachelor of Applied Social Work programme at Manukau Institute of Technology.




personal narrative, history, education


Ko wai au? He Tane au? He Papa au? He Tungane au? he tama o te atua au, Aye hei aha Ko wai au? All of the above and more.

Who I am and what I am are two questions that have brought me to this point of reflection as I determine perhaps, what I am yet to become. Cultural identity is important for people’s sense of self and how they relate to others. A strong cultural identity can contribute to people’s overall wellbeing (Ministry of Social Development, 2007). Does culture play a significant role in my determination of who I am? The purpose of this article is to take stock of who I am so as to understand what I may become. My journey has been filled with both positive and negative experiences, all of which have shaped me into the man that I am today. I wish to share some of what I believe are significant engagement points in my life that have made me the person and the professional that I consider myself to be. From my own myriad of pulsating life patterns, three key personal experiences display who I am.


Freire. P. (1972). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Ministry of Social Development. (2007). Cultural Identity. Retrieved from http://www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz/cultural-identity/index.html




How to Cite

Paniora, R. (2017). Ko wai au?. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 20(4), 52–55. https://doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol20iss4id331