He waka eke noa’ – ‘We’re all in this together’

Pūhoro STEM Academy

Massey University’s Pūhoro STEM Academy programme is the first of its kind in New Zealand.

The academy, set up by Massey University with Te Puni Kōkiri support, fosters young Maori school pupils from Year 11 on their journey through to university, and ultimately the workforce. The programme works to engage with teachers and whanau to support the students’ science study in the Manawatū and Bay of Plenty and to build a wider community of Pūhoro students who share their passion for science.

Group of Puhoro students in lab gear

Māori Science Academy surpasses national pass rates

Participants in the Puhoro Science Academy have achieved pass rates that surpass nationwide averages.

Waka wars at Māori Science Challenge

Science got competitive in April as nearly a hundred secondary school students converged on Massey University to take part in the first Pūhoro Waka Wars.

Maori students go beyond theory

Māori secondary school students tried their hand at analysing fruit flies, product design and future planning at Massey University’s Manawatū campus.

Putting chemistry theory into practice

A programme in mid 2016 saw Māori students using lab space, equipment and supervisors to oversee a variety of experiments to identify pigments.

Programme ambassador Mana Vaultier

Mana Vaultier

Mana Vautier, who has previously worked with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), is the ambassador and “Big Brother” for the Pūhoro STEM Academy.

Mr Vautier says it is “much needed.”

“I especially like the ‘hands on’ aspect of field trips, lab work and career exposure. I have always enjoyed helping other people, and with my Māori heritage, I am excited to be a part of this academy. I am also looking forward to the opportunity to hopefully inspire and motivate others to bigger and better things by sharing my life experiences with them. I have always loved looking up at the night sky as long as I can remember, and just knew that I wanted to one day be involved in some way with the human exploration of space.”

Mr Vautier will be regularly checking in with the students and providing on-going support. He launched the Academy in 2016, with former NASA astronaut Colonel Rick Searfoss.


The Pūhoro Academy Programme is funded by Massey University and the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge with support from the Palmerston North City Council, Te Tumu Paeroa and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

National Sciences Challenge logo

Puhoro supporter logos

Contact Us

For more information, get in touch with us.

Contact Us!>

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey