Former Hato Paora dux, Areti Metuamate, is off to the Australian National University’s Canberra campus this month (February 2010) to take up a scholarship to complete a Masters’ degree in strategic studies.
This ‘citizen of the world’ (pictured left with his mother, Selina, and his koro, Rongomate) was farewelled on November 18.
Green MP Sue Kedgley praised Areti’s political nous which she said was honed through years of listening to Parliament’s Question Time.
As her Youth MP, Areti impressed with his knowledge of the system.
‘Technically he was too young to be a Youth MP, but this didn’t deter him and, with his well-honed debating skills, he quickly became the star of the Youth Parliament that year.’
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia wrote that Areti had become a trusted touchstone on a range of issues. ‘One of the things I love about Areti is that, when we do something worthy of note, he writes and lets us know whether we are on the right track.’
From Tahitian, Rarotongan and Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Kauwhata and Tainui Waikato, Mrs Turia said, Areti takes a global perspective across a broad range of social policy issues.
‘When I learnt that he had won the Freyberg scholarship to pursue his interests in international politics, defence and strategic studies it made perfect sense!’
Areti told Bishop Peter Cullinane he saw him as one of the great leaders of the country.
Areti will be back in New Zealand periodically to fulfil his duties as national secretary of Te Runanga o Te Hahi Katorika Ki Aotearoa.