24 Mar 2017
Ara and Ngāi Tūāhuriri are set to welcome close to 500 ‘first year, first time’ Māori students and their whānau on Friday, 24 March at Te Puna Wānaka, City Campus Christchurch. Last week, Ara and Ngāti Huirapa welcomed all new students and staff in South Canterbury.
“A core part of our culture is how we greet each other formally,” Te Marino Lenihan, Kaiārahi (Director Māori), explained. “While the look and shape of this practice can be different from iwi to iwi, and even from marae to marae, what doesn’t really change is the intent and feel. We need to uphold our own values and responsibilities and ensure that our students and their whānau are formally brought into our whare and institution. Perhaps even more important though is the opportunity provided by this process to start building what could be life-long relationships with each other.”
Te Marino Lenihan, Kaiārahi (Director Māori)
“If we wish to promote greater engagement and success for our students, then it is important to establish an environment that is both familiar and safe, but also challenging and focussed.”
Last year, there were 1,964 students enrolled at Ara who identified as Māori. This represented 12% of the overall Ara domestic student population, which is higher than the general Māori population in Canterbury at 8%. The Ara Māori student population is enrolled across all programme areas and levels and the institution offers a range of academic and student support services to facilitate their journey through training and into employment.
Lenihan, like his predecessors and colleagues, is a firm believer in the idea of whānau transformation through education. “The potential within our communities is massive, and we hope to nurture and grow the talents that our students bring with them so that they succeed and in turn pass their knowledge on to the next generations.”