Record number of taiohi Māori prepare for their journey to higher education
24 November 2020
A record number of taiohi (young) Māori from schools across Ōtautahi Christchurch took part in science experiments, tested their Law knowledge and played Arts bingo in an interactive day designed to inspire students to further their study.
Ka mau te wehi! A record number of taiohi Māori from schools across Ōtautahi Christchurch took part in science experiments, tested their Law knowledge and played Arts bingo in an interactive day designed to inspire students to further their study.
Led by Te Waka Pākākano | the Office of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori, Pacific and Equity, the annual Aukaha Tau 10 event provided a welcoming, fun and supportive environment for 170 taiohi Māori to start thinking about their future after school and explore their study options at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | the University of Canterbury (UC).
The Aukaha programme has been engaging with taiohi Māori in Ōtautahi Christchurch schools since 2013. Interest has steadily grown with a record-breaking 153 taiohi Māori attending the UC event in 2018, beaten by 163 in 2019, broken again this year with the highest attendance to date; UC hosting 170 young Māori people.
Kaiurungi (Māori Student Support), in Te Waka Pākākano, Thomas Hamilton (who affiliates to Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Raukawa) says: “Aukaha is proving to be a valuable programme for helping taiohi Māori to engage in meaningful pathways at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha.”
The name ‘Aukaha’ is taken from a Kāi Tahu whakataukī (proverb): ‘Aukaha ana tō waka’ – meaning ‘strengthen the lashings of your own waka’. In this context, this whakataukī is a metaphor for taiohi to prepare themselves for the journey ahead, readying themselves for tertiary study.
The day started with a mihi whakatau (welcome), then taiohi Māori took part in a number of interactive, educational sessions on different subjects taught at UC. College advisors gave information and advice about course options and career pathways. Taiohi Māori were guided through the day by tuākana mentors, current UC ākonga Māori (Māori students), who offered a warm welcome and shared their experience of campus life.
Aukaha Tau 10 is the first step in a series of kaupapa (programmes) to engage with secondary school taiohi, so they connect with the learning opportunities available at UC. Whakawhanaungatanga (the process of establishing relationships) is key in Aukaha for creating a sense of belonging and connecting taiohi with UC communities and facilities on campus.
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