Although I had been through Kura Kaupapa schooling I had limited experience in the arts, other than Whakairo (wood carving). Having no other career aspirations but a love of the arts I decided to pursue Maori arts as a career. Due to unforeseen circumstance my application to Te Takapu o Rotowhio was unsuccessful but this was a blessing in disguise. I was introduced to Lewis Gardiner, a well respected pounamu carver, who agreed to take me on as a Tauira (apprentice). I am learning new skills on a daily basis and I am surrounded by creative minds who are forthcoming with their knowledge, skills and advice. I have purpose and direction and hope to one day in the future to move forward and share this knowledge given tome with others.