My very first interview at the Rotorua Daily Post was with Hinerangi Goodman, a pioneer of Māori broadcasting.

I was so nervous, interviewing a woman who is a legend in her own right, but "Māori stories deserve to be told," she told me.

"And there is a lot left to be achieved."

So, despite the fact I am not Māori, one of my first requests at the paper was to take over the Te Māori page.

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I am proud to have grown up in Rotorua, surrounded by Māori culture, the manaakitanga, the protocol and the language, so I wanted to do it justice.

Over the last two years, I have heard so many amazing stories told inside the wharenui and I am incredibly grateful for how welcoming people have been.

I have had help at every step of this journey, from the people who translated for me during pōhiri to those who sat with me and explained how things really affected them.

With your help I have been able to cover our city becoming bilingual, getting a tā moko, Māori people who are doing incredible things and haka that have brought me to tears.

Most importantly I have been able to tell your stories - Māori stories.

By the time this goes to print I will be fully packed, ready for my move to England, but it is the spirit of Aotearoa that I will be taking with me.

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There are too many people to thank, but to the kuia and kaumātua of Te Arawa in particular, thank you.

To all Māori in Rotorua; it's been a true privilege serving you, celebrating your achievements and sharing your stories with the community.

Ka kite anō.