Āwhina | Māori student support

Te Waihanga Hononga—Making connections

What makes a community is its people—this is imbued in the University’s Māori name, Te Herenga Waka (the gathering of canoes). Our people come from all rohe (tribal areas). Some in our community are early in connecting with their taha Māori (Māori identity), others are immersed in tikanga (customs) and te reo (language) Māori.

The Āwhina team are here to help all tauira Māori make the most of their university experience and navigate the array of University processes and services.

We know that for many the university experience can feel very unfamiliar at times. Sometimes tauira do not see anyone around them that they would feel comfortable asking for help. Also, with such an array of support services, some tauira (and staff) are not aware of the Māori support networks in our large University. Āwhina provide a way for tauira Māori to connect with kaupapa (initiatives) and other support services and with the wider whānau o Te Herenga Waka.

Ngā mea taikākā, whaitake hoki—Important and useful stuff

Throughout the year, Āwhina offers:

  • specialised academic and study skills wānanga, workshops and tutorials provided through each faculty
  • drop-in meetings and individual appointments with Kaiakiaki—Engagement Advisors
  • support to help you to development successful learning strategies
  • a peer mentoring programme
  • social, whānau and industry networking events
  • in-school and in-community outreach programmes
  • study spaces with computer facilities
  • help with completing scholarship applications
  • support to help you navigate MyTools, the University’s web service.

We can also connect you with:

  • student networks and clubs
  • advise on university-wider tutorial offerings
  • financial advice, including accessing hardship assistance and setting up payment plans
  • counselling services
  • exemptions, substitutions and waivers processes and support
  • course assistance, including withdrawals and refunds
  • exploring scholarship and internship opportunities
  • searching for work, including preparing your CV and refining your interview skills.

Tūtaki mai i te rōpū—Meet with the team

Our team is based in all faculties. We have drop-in offices, and tauira can book a session with a Kaiakiaki / Engagement Advisor for an online or in person meeting

Ngā hui e whai ake nei—Upcoming events

Throughout the year, Āwhina and our partners host a range of events and gatherings, many online. Their main purpose (especially with Te Herenga Waka Marae being closed until the opening of the Living Pā in 2024) is whakawhanaungatanga, providing opportunities for tauira Māori to connect and enjoy each other’s company.

Ngā Rūma Whānau—Whānau Rooms

The team encourages tauira to access our Whānau Rooms. Operating with a whānau-vibe, these spaces are set up with desks, computers and tea and coffee.

The Whānau Rooms are great places for individual study and to collaborate on group work.

To gain student ID card swipe access to these rooms connect with the Kaiakiaki/Engagement Advisor in your faculty.

Whānau Room locations:

  • CO145A, Kelburn campus
  • GB234, Pipitea campus (Law School)
  • RHMZ19, Pipitea campus (WSBG)
  • TTR107, Kelburn campus
  • VS128, Te Aro campus
  • VZ004, Kelburn campus

Reach out, don’t be whakamā (shy). We know that, at times, the University can feel intimidating, and even overwhelming. Āwhina is here so that together we can help each other to succeed.

“I was uncertain about what student life would be like, but the Awhina Team have provided me with so much support and many opportunities. They have helped me find my place at Te Herenga Waka.”

Shaadiya-Lee Filoa (Ngā Puhi Nui Tonu, Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, waihoki nō Ngāti Hamoa), BSc tauira

Meet the Āwhina team

Meet the Āwhina staff, who will connect you with mentoring and support for your University journey.