Pacifica role model.

Getting to know Akili Namuaira
Bachelor of Commerce

Akili Namuaira

What’s your background?

I’m from Fiji. I originally went to Otago Uni but didn’t pass. So I played rugby for four years then worked as a supervisor for a foam manufacturing company.

What prompted your return to uni?

It was the right time for me. The foam manufacturer had relocated to Vietnam and after I helped set up the new factory I needed something else to do. So I decided to enrol in my Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting.

How have you found it so far?

I ask a lot more questions now. I realised that in order to pass, you have to speak up. University is a different experience as a mature student. I have more confidence. Previously I just went with the flow, but in New Zealand you have to put your hand up to succeed.

Has the Pacific Development Team helped on your journey?

Absolutely. I was pretty shy about the idea of going to university. I heard about the Pacific Development Team before I came to UC, so I contacted them and they helped me with everything – my enrolment, Studylink. They help in other ways too. Every study break they do a mature students dinner. It brings us together and makes us a family.

What do you enjoy most about the UC experience?

At UC there’s a lot of help with your academic skills, much more than I had imagined. With the Pacific Development Team you get 30 hours per year of one-on-one tutoring. I'm saving mine for my stats course!

Are you glad you came back?

Yes, I love it. I'm really glad I've come to UC. No one in my family has ever graduated before. I’m going to be the first. I want to achieve something greater in life. I want to go home to my village in Fiji and make a difference for them.

Any parting advice?

When I first got here I saw a 70-year-old Tongan woman graduating. I thought, "if she can make it, I can make it". Whatever you want to do, if you put your mind to it you can achieve it.