Bicultural competence and confidence


Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand and its relevance to their area of study.


Examples of bicultural competence and confidence in the Aotearoa New Zealand context are:

  • Understanding the importance of self and of the cultural nature of ‘knowledge’ and ‘norms’ when engaging with others.
  • Understanding the role of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in Aotearoa New Zealand society today, and how the processes of colonisation and globalisation have shaped our society
  • Understanding the nature of iwi Māori in the contemporary context, and their development over time into corporates
  • Developing a deeper understanding of traditional Māori perspectives and society, and an awareness that becoming more skilled in te reo Māori and tikanga Māori can play an effective part in this
  • Developing an understanding of the role of Ngāi Tūāhuriri as mana whenua, and the role of Ngāi Tahu whānui in this area


New Zealand was founded on an agreement between two peoples: the Treaty of Waitangi. This Treaty established the relationship framework that exists to this day between Tangata Whenua (Māori) and Tangata Tiriti (non-Māori).

Gaining transferable skills under this attribute will enable you to prepare for graduate careers in New Zealand and beyond. UC graduates will be distinguished in the workplace as those who can demonstrate cultural competence and confidence to live and work in a bicultural Aotearoa New Zealand, and a multicultural world. As a UC graduate, you will be aware of your own identity and its influence when you engage with any other person or community. You will understand that there are different perspectives to interactions and relationships.

By knowing yourself, by developing a deeper understanding of the perspective of the Tangata Whenua treaty partner and how to interact appropriately and respectfully on Māori terms, and by actively exploring its relevance to your area of expertise, you will be well-placed for a broader range of employment opportunities here in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will also be better prepared to interact in other cultural contexts. You will know what to look out for, you will notice and respond to different ways of being and doing, and will adjust your own behaviours as suitable in those contexts.