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Reaching out to young ākonga Māori

04 October 2021

Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | the University of Canterbury is the first university to advertise on Māori TV, with an inspirational new ad that will air 33 times this month during a variety of programmes.


Year 13 student and Head Girl at Cashmere High School Wairaamia Tikao Taratoa-Bannister (Kāi Tahu, Waitaha, Ngāti Māmoe, Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Raukawa) narrates the ad, which features a variety of current University of Canterbury (UC) students reflecting on their challenges and following their passions. The poem (see below) is subtitled in te reo Māori to reach out to Māori youth and remind them, along with stunning visuals, that tertiary study can help them to achieve a fulfilling future.

The new initiative is part of a number of developments to attract and support ākonga Māori, such as Takere, a six-week scholarship and live-in academy programme that is part of Kia Angitu, which supports Māori, Pacific and under-served student groups.

The ad campaign is underpinned by the university’s commitment to reducing disparity in participation, success, and retention rates.

UC and mana whenua Ngāi Tūāhuriri signed a partnership agreement in March 2019 to formalise longstanding relationships, and UC recently announced the Office of Treaty Partnership, Kā Waimaero | the Ngāi Tahu Centre, thought to be a first in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Watch the Believe U Can ad, meet our student stars and find out more here.

Believe U Can

Belief. The emotion that stirs your body into motion.
One small drop contains the power of the oceans.
And, yes, with all this chaos and commotion
You’d be forgiven for thinking
“What’s my personal motivation?”

The new normal’s so abnormal that now normal’s an abstraction.
What happened to civilisation? This world is a distraction.
But still belief will never fail to cause a chemical reaction.
Fiing up your synapsis.

With purpose and possibilities to put into practise.
Yeah, those ones.
And, so, you pause.
And say: “What do I want to do for me?
The future me.
The one who needs me to believe
That I can make a difference — unequivocally. In whichever way I deem.
Even if that's flipping me into WE.
UC, that really is living the dream.
So, yeah, it’s a pretty simple plan.
Believe U Can.

By Rupert de Paula, Strategy Creative

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