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140 Successful Maori Students Graduate

14th December 2012

140 Successful Maori Students Graduate

One hundred and forty Maori students all of whom are second chance learners in South Auckland will receive special graduation awards in a ceremony today at Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT). Never before in its history has MIT or indeed any other tertiary institution, had such a large cohort of disadvantaged Maori students from a single intake. All have successfully completed their studies in trade training and foundation level courses.

The students have been part of a pilot programme for Maori teen mothers that's run by the Manukau Urban Maori Authority (MUMA) in collaboration with and funded by Te Puni Kokiri. MUMA was contracted this year by Te Puni Kokiri to pathway 20 Maori teen mothers into education and training. Chief Executive of MUMA, Willie Jackson says “We have had extraordinary success with these students. For example, our target number of 20 clients was met within two days of signing the contract and because our organisation provides integrated services to Maori individuals and whanau, we case managed not just teen mothers, but also the teen fathers and other whanau members. As a result we have been able to pathway more than 150 students into MIT since June this year.”

In South Auckland alone, there are upwards of 3000 Maori teen mothers and the numbers are steadily increasing.

Willie Jackson says that programmes like ‘Supporting Intergenerational Success’ that focus on developing Maori youth are critical in South Auckland. “It's fantastic that so many young Maori who face significant hardships can be supported and recognised for their efforts at tertiary level. We’ve been working with less than four percent of the total pool of teen mothers so we need to engage the other 96 percent.” MUMA is currently in discussions with key agencies like the Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Education and Te Puni Kokiri to continue this work next year.”

The multi method approach that MUMA has developed to successfully pathway the students is comprised of face to face and group mentoring, personal case management, pastoral care, provision of key support services (e.g. transport, child care etc) and the utilisation of risk management tools. “As a lead provider of Whanau Ora we have the advantage of being able to provide broader support to our clients,’ says Jackson.

The awards ceremony will be held at Manukau Institute of Technology from 10am to 2pm.

ENDS

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