Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences


Spotlight on Joseph Peni


Joseph Peni graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Applied Mathematics in 2008 and has been a key contributor to the Tuākana in Science programme for over eight years.

Jo peni in a chemistry lab conducting experiments

“I work part-time as a qualified phlebotomist at Labtests in Mangere, where I carry out a variety of investigations as required by GP’s for their patients – from blood samples to urine and faeces samples, and skin scrapings to sputum samples.

“I also continue to work part-time as a Tuākana tutor for Chemistry and Maths at the University – a role that I am particularly passionate about, and alongside my phlebotomist role enables me to encounter different work environments on a daily basis.

“I first became a Tuākana tutor during the second year of my degree, for the core maths paper MATHS108. I continued in this role for eight years, and in 2011 I joined the Tuākana team in Chemical Sciences as both a tutor and a lab supervisor for Stage I Chemistry courses.

“My favourite part of being a tutor has been the fact that I can help my younger Māori and Pacific Island peers, and help them to understand key concepts that they at first found difficult. I get great satisfication when I see a student walk out the door, with a better understanding of maths or chemistry than what they had when they arrived. It’s also been a great privilege to cross paths with some incredible lecturers and tutors in both maths and chemistry, who have given me the opportunity to not only broaden my knowledge but give back in some ways to my community.

“As a student, I also used the Tuākana room a lot – I found it was a great environment to both study in, and make new friendships. I also really enjoyed going along as a student to tutorials – because it was a fun and relaxed environment that I was comfortable to ask for help in.