Watch: From street life to academia - Auckland man earns diploma after a challenging journey 'from the gutter'

A man who has earned a university diploma in Auckland after living on the streets for much of the last decade says other homeless people can achieve what he has if they believe in themselves.

Mike Manihera has been presented with his Diploma in Maori Media from Auckland University of Technology.

But the journey to his dream becoming a reality has had its challenges along the way. 

For the last 10 years, Mr Manihera has been on and off the streets. Three years ago he enrolled at AUT. 

"It means a lot, literally coming from the gutter, from the street, to now getting a toha, getting a accolade in the academic world," Mr Manihera told TVNZ1's Te Karere.

"A good mate of mine, Areta from Tuhoe, I followed his lead from the street. There's a lot of people, brothers and sisters, on the street. They can do it, you can do it. Take a bit of belief in yourself for a start, and then the support just merges around you," he said. 

Now, Mr Manihera has found a whare in Morningside, and he has some words of advice for his street whanau - don't be shy and "just go and ask".

His ultimate dream is to became a cameraman.

"Anywhere in the production media will do me, whether it be producer, editor, director, just in there." 

Mr Manihera really hopes to inspire others sleeping rough on the streets to follow his lead. 

"My bro, the bird who goes after knowledge owns the world," he said.

Mike Manihera has received his Diploma in Maori Media from AUT after 10 years on and off the streets. Source: Te Karere