On 9 September 1996 Christchurch Polytechnic and Te Rūnangā o Ngāi Tahu signed a partnership agreement based on the premise that Ngāi Tahu are signatories to the Treaty of Waitangi and that the Polytechnic is a Crown funded institution. The agreement recognises the mana whenua status that held Ngāi Tahu locally and an acknowledgement that Ngāi Tahu have a duty of manaaki ngā manuhiri.

Te Tapuae o Rehua

The intent of the agreement is to create opportunities that are beneficial to both partners and to give effect to the principles of the partnership embodied in the Treaty of Waitangi.

The partnership principle embraced by Ara has extended into active involvement as a partner in Te Tapuae o Rehua. Rehua is the eldest son of Rangi and Papatūānuku and he is the repository of sacred knowledge. He inhabits the uppermost heaven and to pursue him and that which he represents is to pursue knowledge and understanding.

Te Tapuae o Rehua is a joint venture between Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Lincoln University, the University of Canterbury, Otago Polytechnic and Otago University.

The aims of the partnership are to:

  • Increase Māori participation in tertiary education.
  • Ensure quality of course content, delivery and environment for Māori.
  • Establish Mātaurangā Māori as a recognised discipline.
  • Broaden the influence of Ngāi Tahu in the provision of Māori education throughout all the tertiary institutions within Te Wai Pounamu.
  • Present Te Tapuae o Rehua as a professional and viable organisation committed to long term sustainability and effectiveness.
  • Te Tapuae of Rehua provides an opportunity for the Polytechnic to develop a responsive relationship with Māori living locally. Ngāi Tahu and Te Tapuae will provide information to the partner institutions regarding Māori community needs and aspirations. The institutions will then respond collaboratively to address these needs.

Trades at Ara

Te Puna Wānaka also has a strong relationship with our Trades programmes. Ara established the first Māori Trades Training school in NZ and has a continued commitment to providing a wide range of trades to Māori students.

Links to business and ICT programmes

Te Puna Wānaka has a strong relationship with the Faculty of Commerce with programmes that are specifically designed to meet management and administration needs of contemporary Māori organisations. Students are able to take a range of options in this programme that may lead to areas such as Iwi management and Public Policy Administration.