Whai Ake i te Ara Tika – A living Model of Māori success
Tiana Ngawati, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Porou
Unitec Institute of Technology – Te Whare Wanānga o Wairaka
About Whai Ake i te Ara Tika
Developed in 2002, Whai Ake i te Ara Tika (Whai Ake) is a Māori mentoring scholarship programme based on a tuākana-tēina model of mentoring at Unitec Institute of Technology’s (Unitec). Run through the polytechnic’s Maia Māori Centre, students in their second or final year of study are the programmes tuākana (mentors), and students in their first year of study are the recipients of the scholarship and the programmes tēina (mentees).
The goals of the Whai Ake programme are to:
- grow Māori student leadership capability and capacity
- increase Māori student completions of their first year of study
- increase Māori student retention to tertiary study.
The programme offers support in three areas:
- academic –to provide academic support based on the individual students learning needs
- pastoral –to ensure students well-being is supported; to build strong peer relationships; to ensure access to all information and services
- cultural –to provide a culturally safe environment for students. Culture and identity are at the heart of Whai Ake and students are supported to develop their cultural confidence and competence.
Tēina also receive financial support up to $2000 towards tuition. Tuākana are awarded a grant of up $1000 (based on instalments of $250 per term).
The video publication
This video publication presents information about the dimensions of the Whai Ake programme from the perspective of students (past and present tuākana and tēina) and programme coordinators. Together the Whai Ake team explain how they have benefited from the scholarship programme.
Whai Ake’s success
We’re seeing Māori student leadership capability and capacity growing at Unitec. In 2013:
- a Whai Ake tuākana initiated a new Māori Student Association
- Whai Ake students as a rōpū represented Unitec at a number of high profile occasions, and were involved in pōwhiri processes at Te Noho Kotahitanga Marae
- a Whai Ake tuākana initiated an Auckland Māori student accounting network
- a Whai Ake tuākana was successfully appointed to a Faculty of Creative Industry and Business’s Academic Board
- a Whai Ake tuākana secured an IBM scholarship
- two Whai Ake tuākana successfully gained Australian Women’s Weekly/Unitec Women of the Future Scholarships.
Māori student retention at Unitec has moved in the right direction. In 2013 Māori first year student retention at Unitec was 100%; in 2012 and 2011 it was 90 % and 91% respectively. It is also very encouraging that Māori first year student completions of a te reo Māori course were 100% in both 2013 and 2012.
Through Whai Ake evaluative interviews and surveys we are also learning about the students experience and their perceptions of the benefits of the programme. We understand the key benefits and success factors relate to:
- Learning and te ao Māori (the world Māori):
- Whanaungatanga and leadership development:
Special thanks and acknowledgements to: past students John Hettig and Te Toki Te Paki for their expertise with filming and editing; Tiana Ngawati for leading this project; Carol Ngawati, (Director Māori Student and Community Engagement), Herewini Easton, Josie Keelan, Kim Penetito, Maia staff for their guidance; and to all the Whai Ake students who shared their stories.
To all Whai Ake students, co-ordinators, past and current – ngā mihi aroha ki a koutou katoa.
 Mentoring is essentially the formation of a relationship between a more experienced or wiser person (not necessarily older) and a less experienced person for the purpose of transferring knowledge and skills. Tuakana-tēina mentoring is set in a kaupapa Māori framework what includes a focus on whanaungatanga between the tuākana and tēina. Tahau-Hodges, P., (2010). Kaiako Pono: Mentoring for Māori Learners in the Tertiary Sector. Published by Ako Aotearoa / Te Puni Kōkiri
|This work is published under the Creative Commons 3.0 New Zealand Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence (BY-NC-SA). Under this licence you are free to copy, distribute, display and perform the work as well as to remix, tweak, and build upon this work noncommercially, as long as you credit the author/s and license your new creations under the identical terms.|