Tolaga Bay student’s amazing journey at Otago inspires winning idea
by University of Otago
When Grant Kingi got off the plane at Dunedin Airport in 2011, ready to begin his experience at the University of Otago, he felt the anxiety more acutely than the majority of would-be students. At 16, he was younger than most; his home in aqua-blue Tolaga Bay (Uawa) on the remote East Coast of the North Island seemed a whole world away from the gothic and Scottish-styled Dunedin; in fact, he had never been this far from home. He expected to be cold so had dressed warmly. But that threw him too, as Dunedin can, because he arrived on a blistering hot day.
Despite his youth, Grant was already conscious he needed to fight a particular stereotype; this was an important chance to stave off the social disadvantage that he felt could easily have sucked him under.