Kia Ora Tatou Whanau,

Ko Putahi te maunga.                          Mountain

Ko Wairoro te awa                               River

Ko Ngapuhi te iwi.                               Tribe

Ko Te Kotahitanga to marae.                Marae

Ko Ngatokimatawhaorua te  waka        Canoe

Ko Aperahama Te Taonui te tangata

Ko Te Waiata Maria Kumar ahau


I am happily married and have been blessed with 5 children and eight grandchildren. I migrated to Australia in 1977 and have settled in Melbourne since my arrival. As a kiwi here in Australia I thought I would not be affected by the 2001 Legislation changes for New Zealanders but I was wrong.

I studied at Vic University from 2007 – 2010. As I reached my undergraduate year in 2010 it was during 2009 enrolment year that I found out that because I was doing study at university level my fees were about $9,000 up front. That was fine I thought so I looked at applying for HECS HELP student loan.  Then as I made inquiries to make an application I was told that I didn't meet the criteria because of my NZ status. Even explaining that not only am I studying I work, I pay taxes, I vote but still wasn't eligible to apply for HECS HELP.

So to pursue my achievement I had to find another way to pay the fees up front and I didn't do this study to have hindering to get in the way so I managed to find the finances. I finally achieved Bachelors Arts in Youth Work. Although my aim was to go for my masters I was unable to do this due to the up front costs of $12,000 that I couldn't afford.


- Te Mapihi Maurea Polynesian Youth Group Inc

    Program for at risk young people cultural based

- NZ Maori Polynesian Welfare Support Group Inc

   Welfare and support for Whanau Rangatahi

- Vic Maori Wardens

   Ops Manager responsible to recruit train and roster foot patrol target "At Risk" young people of Polynesian, Pacific Island and NZ background

- Tautoko Whanau Help Australia

   Welfare and support material aid food and employment pathways

Iwi n Aus - Victoria Leader

Mahi/Work - Inner South Community Health Service South Melbourne Vic

Assertive  Outreach YouthWorker, Case Manager, Counsellor,

Why be part of Iwi N Aus?

We all share the same experiences in some capacity and with this we as representatives have an understanding and its only natural to become activists and support our whanau who are severely affected by the 2001 Legislation Changes.

Nga Mihi

Maria Kumar

 Link to watch Maria Kumar in an interview taken in September, 2013 before the elections.

Maria Kumar - VIC State Represetative

Ph: 0434 619 420

Based in Melbourne VIC