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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

10 mins ago

Education is one key to break the chain of family violence, says an EIT Tairāwhiti student and mother of six who knows from experience.   

Pat Tamanui has had a rough ride in her adult life so far including two violent relationships.  

Her second ended in a traumatic event witnessed by some of her children. The police were involved and a long drawn-out court process followed.  

“It was the same cycle as my first relationship, if not worse.  

She thought she was at her lowest when she enrolled at EIT.  

“I did not know what I wanted to study, but I knew education was the key to my future. 

My social worker told me about this course and asked if I wanted to sign up for it. I was interested and I went to the interview and met the tutor Tania Hagen.  

I signed up and went back to study the New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation level 3 and then 4.  

Soon after starting level 3, the global pandemic Covid 19 hit.  

As we headed into level 2, Pat moved into emergency housing with her children but did not give up on her studies. Her tutor Tania Hagen says. 

 ” Despite everything, Pat has stayed focused and achieved some excellent grades.

She has applied to do the Bachelor of Social Work for 2021. 

” I thought about going back to Te Whatukura to finish off my studies there. I have also thought about Toihoukura ( Maori Arts ) and Computing.  

By the end of my first semester, I decided I wanted to be a social worker because of my life experiences.  

What I have gone through gives me empathy and understanding. I still have a journey myself, but eventually I aim to be an advocate and help people.”  

A huge inspiration to leave her relationship and get educated has been her children, especially her five daughters.  

“I have to be a role model for my daughters. I do not want them to go through what I went through. I am passionate and driven on this journey now “.  

Pat has high praise for the support she has received from EIT staff as well as Moni Ora budgeting services and emergency housing from Work and Income New Zealand.  

” It has been hard talking to all the different people. Every time I have to bring up the nitty gritty but I am doing well now.  

Anyone who wants more information about the courses offered at EIT Tairāwhiti can go on the EIT website  call into the main office on Palmerston Road.