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Ara hosts national hui

Te Toi Tauira mō te Matariki 2017 annual conference

Te Toi Tauira mō te Matariki 2017, on 27 - 29 September at Ara Institute of Canterbury, is a chance to build relationships within the institute as well as with partner organisations, Kaiārahi (Māori Advisor) at Ara, Te Marino Lenihan says.

“This is particularly important for Ara given that many of our Ara colleagues are in different corners of our institution and don’t often have opportunities to work shoulder to shoulder and build stronger relationships with each other,” he said. “Raising Māori students’ success necessitates us all working together.”

The conference will be held at the Te Puna Wānaka whare at the Ara City campus.

The conference presented an opportunity to develop a programme that aligns with the draft Framework for Māori Achievement, which Te Marino recently developed and will be consulting on over the next three months. The framework will guide a range of strategies to strengthen cultural practice at Ara and support Māori students to succeed across qualification completion and employment.

To this end, the programme includes speakers from the tertiary education sector, hapū/iwi/community, and government agencies. Over three days the focus moves from international to national to local perspectives.

Eruera Tarena (Chief Executive of Te Tapuae o Rehua), will be talking about the social impact that Ngāi Tahu iwi wants to achieve through tertiary education over the next 20 years. How can Ara be more effective and support Māori success in education and into employment?

Darren Russell (Pro-Vice Chancellor Māori, University of Canterbury), will present on UC’s strategic focus to ensure all graduates of the university are biculturally competent and confident through engagement with Māori indigenous knowledge and practices.

Moana Theodore (Researcher, Otago University), will presenting on her 10 year-long Graduate Longitudinal Study on Māori students/graduates and what helps or hinders Māori students complete their studies. Her upcoming research paper suggests that higher education is the key factor in reducing inequalities in the labour market between Māori/Pasifika and other New Zealand graduates.

Along with the high calibre of presentations and welcoming guests from around the country, “hosting this important hui is another opportunity for Ara to celebrate kaupapa Māori at Ara, including the normalisation of te reo Māori,” Te Marino said.

A “keen cohort of Ara and UC Maori students will help to keep the whare feeling and looking warm”, he said.

Partners for the event include Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori, UC Māori, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, AKO Aotearoa and Te Tapua o Rehua.

“While Ara is the principal host, we have been supported greatly by a number of institutions both financially and in-kind. I would like to pass on my deepest gratitude to all involved.”

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