Māori Student Centre established at Massey

From left: Te Rau Tauawhi team – Awhina Wakefield, Anahera Te Putu-Puhipuhi, Monica Koia, Merirangi Rewi and June Nicklin.


Māori students at Massey will be well-supported in the future with the establishment of Te Rau Tauawhi, the Māori Student Centre. 

The centre aims to enhance and inspire educational success and will have staff on the three campuses who will also support distance students.

Founded on tikanga Māori principles of whānau manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and mātauranga, the centre will provide a range of general and pastoral care services to help prospective and current students and their whānau to engage with the University. Services will include promoting Māori student participation and success, mentoring programmes, helping to connect students to existing Massey services, facilitating relationships with career and employability services, and establishing Māori cohort learning supports.

Te Rau Tauawhi project manager Monica Koia says the centre is a crucial step in Māori achievement and retention at Massey. Built on successful Massey programmes such as Te Rau Puawai and the former Te Rau Whakaara, she says it offers a whanau-centred approached that is culturally safe for Māori students and whānau. “For some time, there has been no specific Māori learning and care supports available to manaaki students on their University journey and this is the purpose of the centre.”

Te Rau Tauawhi was officially named at a karakia ceremony on December 4 and the team is already busy supporting 517 students enrolled in summer school. They are also working in partnership with BASE, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences student engagement programme, and Māori business mentors and starting to engage with newly-enrolled students and their whānau for 2018. 

Ms Koia says as the majority of Māori students at Massey are distance learners, there will be a big emphasis on trying to provide support to them in their own communities. Te Rau Tauawhi will investigate ways of setting up face-to-face engagement and other supports with students where possible.

Te Rau Tauawhi is an initiative of the Office of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori and Pasifika.  

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