Meet Student Ambassador - Suzi Saweirs
Suzi moved to New Zealand from Egypt with her family when she was young and is attending Whangarei Girls’ High School. We asked her about what it’s like living in Northland.
Why do you love Northland?
I love Northland because of the close community. This closeness of the community provides this state with a true feeling of ‘home’. The people in Northland are down-to-earth, charismatic, and friendly. It is also the best place to be in the summer with its many beaches and hot weather. I could not imagine spending my summer holiday, and every other day whilst growing up, anywhere else.
What do you love most about studying at school in New Zealand?
I love the variety of subjects I am provided with and have the opportunity to learn about. I feel comfortable being able to openly discuss my opinions, thoughts, and views on different subjects with the teachers and my peers without fearing extreme judgment or punishment. New Zealand schools, and teachers, have a way of bringing out the best in every student and allowing them to express themselves in whichever way they prefer. New Zealand caters to students that are academically focused, sports-focused, arts and drama-focused, or students that wish to take different career paths.
What are your favourite experiences in Northland?
Some of my fondest memories come from the different activities at the town basin in central Whangarei. An example of this is walking the loop on the warm, sunny, classic Northland days with my whanau and having the time to conversate whilst also having the opportunity to look out at the beautiful local scenery. My dog also loves walking the loop as she gets to meet other dogs and get attention from a lot of other people. I also have very cherished memories from the playground at Town Basin where I spent most of my childhood. Whether it was pretending to own a shop where I sold bark, playing on the swings with my sister, or finally climbing to the top of the climbing frame after many attempts…the playground was where my heart belonged.
What are your interests, sports, and hobbies?
My passions are politics, social justice, and human rights. Being aware of the goings on within parliament is very important to me which is why I am also grateful for the Whangarei MP Emily Henderson who is consistent with attempting to hold meetings for the youth of Northland to attend and learn about the government and what goes on in the ‘Beehive’ down in Wellington.
I also love playing hockey. Northland has an impressive reputation regarding sports, especially hockey as it is very popular and loved by many. It is the type of sport where you can either play it for fun with and against your friends or play it competitively against other regions and teams in New Zealand. I enjoy playing the sport and watching it.
What is your favourite local place to hang out with friends?
My favourite local place to hang out is Ruakaka beach. My friends and I often load up the car with blankets, jumpers, and a boot full of food for a dinner picnic on the sand. In the evening time, Ruakaka has a peaceful presence as often the only things you can hear are the waves on the beach and the wind in the atmosphere. It can get a bit chilly at night so we prepare ourselves with warm clothing and warm food but sometimes a few of us will feel brave enough to venture into the water. It is especially beautiful when there are no clouds because then we can eat our dinner underneath the stars. Ruakaka Beach is also lovely in the daytime and can get quite busy in the summertime as everyone wants to get out and enjoy the sunshine.