NAME Greer Perenara
AKA TJ Perenara’s Other Half
TIMES AROUND THE SUN 27
FROM Porirua, Wellington, NZ
LIVE Porirua, Wellington, NZ
ALL ABOUT BEING Outspoken, passionate, creative, genuine, caring
GIVE US THE LOW DOWN Most recently I was a tertiary student, but before that I was a Junior Business Analyst in the public sector.
I have a Diploma in Singing and a Bachelor in Applied Arts
I was born and bred in Porirua, Wellington and the eldest of 5 girls (as you can imagine, our household was hectic haha)
I’m Cook Island Māori, Samoan and German/English.
I have always had a passion for singing and music. I started performing when I was 3 years old in a performance troupe doing singing and dancing and ever since then, the arts have always been a part of my life.
I’m still figuring out what I want to do in regard to a career, but I am hoping to be able to teach or mentor in some way.
I met my (now) husband (still not used to saying that – we are newly married hehe) coming up to 10 years ago, this year. We are both now living not far from where we were brought up with our yellow Labrador Roni – who is basically our daughter… she’s spoilt.
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS I think for both of us, our parents and upbringing play a huge part in the people we are today, in an area where there was poverty and a lot of working-poor.
Our families weren’t money-rich but we always had enough. I saw my parents struggle. The thing is though, we were enriched in so many other ways. We grew up in a strong Māori/Pasifika community.
We had families who loved us and taught us to be gracious, to be kind, to always look outside of our own backyards and to always help others where we can, to speak up for what we believe in, to not be ashamed of who we are and to just be good people regardless of what we chose to do in our careers.
Our parents instilled so many of the values we have and the values we will pass onto our children. I am so proud of where we both come from and I think it is so important for us both to remember our roots and what our parents taught us.
FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC When I was younger, I definitely wanted to be a singer/performer.
I wrote and recorded my own songs and acted on some NZ TV shows and advertisements. As I got a bit older though, I was unsure about what exactly I wanted to do with my singing/music.
I got a job in retail for a few years straight out of college, then switched to a call center job and then finally got a job as a junior business analyst. It was a great job, great money and there was opportunity to work my way up the corporate ladder, but I got really restless and knew I wanted to be performing again.
While working, I joined Wellington based reggae group ‘Tomorrow People’ and then continued to sing for bands after that, including a band I was the lead singer for which took me to Dubai to live for half a year.
Once that wrapped up and I was back working in an office. I think TJ could tell I wasn’t truly happy and that I really wanted to sing again. So, when the opportunity arose to go and study through a good friend of mine, TJ pushed me to go and do it so that I could get back to honing my craft and get amongst the performing arts again.
NURTURING A PASSION I think more than anything, the most important thing is: just do something you love. Life is too short and especially if you have a particular talent or hobby, just go for it and make sure you immerse yourself in it where you can. I think we so often sacrifice our own joy for others or for what we think people want us to do.
IDENTITY I think this is important for anyone! We forget to do the things that make us genuinely happy sometimes and this can often come at a cost in our professional lives and our personal lives.
We often forget that we can’t pour from an empty cup. So, if we ensure that we are finding fulfilment in ourselves and have our own goals and passions we will be better equipped to care for those around us.
CREATIVE OUTLETS I enjoy cooking. TJ and I are both vegetarian so it’s always a bit of a challenge coming up with new things to make, but I love being in the kitchen and we love going out and trying vegetarian restaurants and dishes in Wellington on date nights.
We also both love our fur baby Roni and we have become big supporters of HUHA NZ (Helping you Help Animals). They are a non-profit organization and NZ’s leading no-kill animal shelter.
On our invites for our wedding
RUGBY LIFE FILL US IN For me, the main thing is that my husband is getting to live his dream. We all have dreams when we are little. From the time a young boy in New Zealand is old enough to know what rugby is, he dreams of being an All Black, and TJ was one of those little boys.
To know that all of his goals and hard work throughout his life was to get to where he is now, is actually so inspiring to me and when you get to witness all of the ups and downs that come along with that, you feel pretty privileged to be able to be a part of their journey.
RUGBY FAN GAL MOMENTS Seeing TJ live his dream, watching him at the 2011 Rugby World Cup was a highlight for sure. It’s also a privilege being able to travel with him around the world and the opportunities he has from playing rugby.
RUGBY LIFE LOWS The time apart! I think we worked out that if you add up all the time he is away throughout the year, it equates to about 6 months and of course you don’t only miss each other but it means you have to sort everything out at home (there are some incredible ladies in the rugby community who do an amazing job with kiddies and I have to give props to them!) This means lots of FaceTime and communication.
I think another challenging thing too is just busting the myths about the rugby ‘lifestyle’. There are so many misconceptions about so many things and you just have to laugh at it and move on.
5 YEARS FROM NOW Hopefully with a family, we would love to start one soon… and, just happy.
WISE WORDS OF WISDOM
Be the change you want to see.
You could be the juiciest, ripest peach in the world but there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.
It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.
Communication is key!
If you’d like to find out more about HUHA NZ, you can check out their website www.huha.org.nz or automatically donate $3 by texting HUHA to 4463.
If you are having trouble with online bullying and you’re feeling overwhelmed, or if you are having any problems with mental health, talk to someone you trust and check out the services available in New Zealand at https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/services-and-support/health-care-services/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-where-get-help