Eke panuku – celebrating success of Māori & Pasifika

News News & events

06 Dec 2018

Celebrating Māori and Pasifika student success is one way Ara is striving to raise Māori and Pasifika achievement in line with the general student population.

Louise Courtney’s background is Māori, Tongan and Chinese and she is an exception to the trends. Courtney received the Business Department award for Māori and the Humanities Department Award for Pasifika at Ara’s Eke Panuku awards on Wednesday 5 December.

Why stop at one qualification?

While only 16% of Māori students nationally earn qualifications of a diploma or higher, Courtney is working her way towards her second degree – a Bachelor Māori Language and Indigenous Studies.

Her first qualification was a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Chinese some 10 years ago, but this time she is studying whilst also working and parenting.

“I have started a journey of increasing my capacity in Te Reo Māori and things related to Te Ao Māori. Mostly it is about personal growth and enabling myself and to tautoko my whānau as well, because my children are school age now.”

Despite her previous experience, Courtney did not find studying again easy. “It got really difficult in the end, but I had to grin and bear it, by communicating with the people I needed to communicate with, prioritising, week by week, sometimes day by day, to see what needs your energy at that time.”

Courtney says it helped that giving up was not an option and advised those new to studying to persist. “Even though it was a struggle, it was not an option tonot do it. I have a family and other responsibilities, so if I don’t finish then it’s just a waste of time.”

Māori and Pasifika students in particular need to access student services when the going gets tough. Courtney’s advice is to use the help that’s available. “All the support networks are there, so utilise them, give it a go, you won’t know what you can do until you try it.”

“You’ve got time to develop into yourself and work out how to do things - Ara has some superb student support services, people who are chomping at the bit to help Māori and Pasifika students and they want to see us succeed!”

“Don’t be shy, talk to more experienced students about how they got to where they are. I believe the only way to progress (in a language) is full immersion but you also have to be prepared to fail, maybe that is something we need to encourage more.”

You may stumble

Hinepou Watson Te Poono, Bachelor of Language (Māori), won the Humanities Department award for Māori. She joined Ara straight from secondary school, on the advice of her careers advisor who saw her aptitude for Māori language. While full immersion was challenging, Watson Te Poono found it was the other classes that tested her the most.

“Going into linguists, how people learn languages and getting into that academic side of things, it was a big challenge, but there was a lot of help at student services.”

Watson Te Poono also advised students to remember why they started studying and to be prepared to fail now and then on the way.

“I do know of a couple of people who dropped out. It got a bit too much and the amount of work is big in the degree, but a lot of it is time management, and you have got to be motivated.

“My advice to those thinking about studying would be to give it a go. You may stumble, it may be difficult, but there are a lot of people in the same boat, and many people willing to support you to study for the first time or do the degree.”

Level

Academic or Community

Nominee

Programme of Study

Foundation Award Level 3 Māori

Academic

Kaya Reihana – Witika

NZ Certificate in Food and Beverage Service, with Barista and Café, Level 3

Foundation Award Level 3 Pasifika

Academic

Indiana Bale

NZ Certificate in Food and Beverage Service, with Barista and Café, Level 3

Foundation Award Level 4 Māori

Academic

Jasmine Coe

NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care Level 4 (Timaru)

Foundation Award Level 4 Māori

Community

Stacey Reilly

NZ Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Level 4

Foundation Award Level 4 Pasifika

Community

Elodie Samuel

NZ Certificate in Animal Management Level 4

Foundation Award Level 4 Pasifika

Academic

Max Silva

NZ Certificate in Creativity Level 4

Diploma & Degree Level 5-7  Māori

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Catherine Heemi

Bachelor of Social Work

Diploma & Degree Level 5-7  Māori

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Rickardo Brunton

Graduate Diploma in Information and Communication Technologies

Diploma & Degree Level 5-7  Māori

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Hinepou Watson-TePoono

Bachelor of Māori Language and Indigenous Studies

Diploma & Degree Level 5-7  Māori

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Dion Hancy

Bachelor of Design - Applied Visual Art

Diploma & Degree Level 5-7  Māori

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Jordan Russell

Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Electrical)

Diploma & Degree Level 5-7  Māori

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Hunta-Drew Weston-Gilovitch

NZ Certificate in Construction Trade Skills

Diploma & Degree Level 5-7  Māori

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Louise Courtney

Business

Diploma & Degree Level 5-7 Pasifika

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Louise Courtney

Te Hāpara - Diploma in Māori Studies Level 5

Diploma & Degree Level 5-7 Pasifika

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Jade Pamata

NZ Diploma in Construction Level 6

Diploma & Degree Level 5-7 Pasifika

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Jessica Tolo

Bachelor of Nursing  

Diploma & Degree Level 5-7 Pasifika

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Folina Vili

Bachelor of Design - Applied Visual Art

Diploma & Degree Level 5-7 Pasifika

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Epenesa Valavala

Bachelor of Applied Management

Diploma & Degree Level 5-7 Pasifika

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Satoru Suzuki

Graduate Diploma in Laboratory Technology

Supreme Award Māori

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Tania Gilchrist

Bachelor of Māori Language and Indigenous Studies

Supreme Award Pasifika

Academic Achievement & Community Commitment

Satoru Suzuki

Graduate Diploma in Laboratory Technology