My name is Keisha Taura. I am 21 years old and I live in Auckland, New Zealand.
I have a strong passion to inspire others from all backgrounds to take on the Accounting career pathway. I believe the opportunities through Accounting are endless, and not only is it beneficial for the individual themselves but also for the entire economy of Aotearoa and the world as a whole. As one of the few Maori Accounting students studying at Unitec Institute of Technology, it is clear that there is a huge gap and a lot of work to be done to inspire other Maori into entering the accounting field. I strive to help close this gap by inspiring and being a role model for potential Maori accounting students. As a nation, Maori are known to be very creative, innovative and entrepreneurial. The business ideas that Maori come up with are unlike any other nations in the world. These ideas are what makes the businesses unique and attract international customers, however the downfall is that many Maori do not possess a business mind. They struggle to write business plans, calculate tax and keep track records of their accounts, which in many cases leads to the businesses failure. I aim to inspire Maori to gain knowledge within the Business and Accounting fields, so they can take their creative ideas and use them to their fullest potential. Within the Maori culture, there is a strong concept around whanaungatanga (looking after your people) so I have a strong focus on improving the way of life for our generations to come, I aim to inspire the youth to enter the Accounting field as they are the future leaders of our country. To me culture is extremely important, I have recently been learning our language, Te Reo Maori and along with it the tikanga (traditions) of our people. The Maori culture is unique in the fact that no other culture has the same traditions and values, I believe implementing these things into Aotearoa’s business world will be highly beneficial. Not only will it help keep our culture alive, but for many companies it will bring a competitive edge.
I am currently a member of Matatapu and association aimed at supporting Maori studying all areas of learning from sports and health science, to communication studies and performing arts. The association had provided me with many opportunities to network with other students and businesses as well as been a great foundation for academic support. It’s entirely student run and gains most of its funding through fundraising. It requires being proactive and having a strong focus on developing the Maori nation as a whole. For the past two years, I have attended the Nga Kaitatau Maori o Aotearoa (Maori Accounting Network) Annual Conference. These conferences for me were absolutely life changing, you are able to engage and network with other successful Maori accountants and gain insights from the presentations given. This year’s conference had a strong theme of embracing culture, disruptive leadership and innovation. The sense of community at this conference was overwhelming and the passion to drive towards a better future for the next generations was a common goal for everyone. I believe accounting networks like these will be the forefront to inspiring our rangatahi to enter the industry. Students who feel supported are far more likely to succeed and excel. I am also part of the Whai Ake Mentoring program, a program set up to action the Maori theory of Tuakana – Teina ( Mentee/Mentor). It is where a second or third year student is partnered with a first year student usually studying the same thing. The aim is to share your experiences and knowledge with a student who is unaware and is just beginning. Its a great way to ensure students are supported by not just lecturers and employees of the University, but also other students dealing with the same issues. A huge part of the programme is also about giving back to the community, we often do fundraisers to donate to charities. Our most recent project was donating unwanted goods to those in need at the Te Puea Marae.