Māori Studies

Skills in tikanga and te reo Māori are in high demand and an understanding of the Māori worldview is crucial to success in a range of enterprises.

Māori Studies students gain a grounding in kaupapa Māori (bodies of knowledge), te reo and tikanga Māori, with some focussing specifically on Māori Resource Management understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its impacts. Students also develop academic skills in research, critical and creative thinking, leadership and cultural knowledge and skills. Students participate in marae activities, becoming proficient in conversational te reo and in oral presentation.

Roles and career pathways

Knowledge of Te Ao Māori is sought after and career opportunities are growing in education, health, business and technology, the legal profession, tourism, foreign affairs and trade and environmental concerns. Related roles can include academic advisors, policy analysts and researchers, broadcasters and content creators, communications advisors, community coordinators, project coordinators, management consultants, business or service designers. Māori Studies graduates with undergraduate degrees may work in starting roles in administration, advice or coordination, before progressing to more senior roles. For careers in policy and research some study at postgraduate level can be valuable. Complementary study in Commerce, Law, Science or Social Sciences can broaden the roles that graduates move into.

The demand for te reo Māori teachers, especially at secondary level is high. Graduates who complete a secondary school teaching qualification can go on to either being a Kaiako (teacher) for kura kaupapa or other secondary schools. They could also undertake a further qualification in early childhood or Kōhanga Reo teaching. For more information see Teaching and Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Education.

Graduates with experience and/or a postgraduate qualification can also teach Māori Studies and Te Reo Māori with wānanga and other tertiary providers.

Where Māori Studies graduates work

Graduates can be found in government and non governmental organisations, iwi organisations, management consultancies, education providers and schools. Some of the organisations Māori Studies graduates have worked for include:

Build relevant skills and experience

Part-time work and volunteering during study all help to increase your job prospects when you graduate. The WFHSS Internship course run by the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Science helps develop leadership skills and practical workplace experience. TupuToa is an internship programme that creates pathways for Māori and Pasifika students into careers in the corporate and professional sectors. Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) is New Zealand's Māori Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) and offers summer internships for Māori students interested in advancing their skills and capacity in indigenous research.

Programmes such as Wellington Plus and Wellington International Leadership Programme (WILP) offer opportunities to gain diverse volunteer and leadership experience.

Make career connections

Making connections with individuals and groups during your degree can help you learn more about career opportunities. Becoming involved from the beginning of your studies with the community of Te Herenga Waka marae or your local marae (especially being part of day-to-day marae activities) is key to making personal connections. These connections with Te Ao Māori are important to success in different parts of your life including career. The Alumni as Mentors programme for final-year students also helps enhance your connections and employability while studying.

Graduate career stories

Portrait of Matariki Williams. Matariki has brown hair and wears glasses and a lilac-coloured collared shirt.

Matariki Williams

Te reo and critical-thinking skills Matariki developed in Māori Studies and History prove invaluable to her role in mātauranga Māori at Manatū Taonga.

Portrait of Ashley Mackenzie-White. Ashley has red hair and wears tortoise shell glasses.

Ashley Mackenzie-White

Tikanga and te reo Māori furnished Ashley with the bicultural perspective she brings to work with visual arts and museums, in Aotearoa and overseas.