Huarahi Māori programme celebrates 21 years

28 February 2017

The faculty celebrated the 21st year of the Huarahi Māori programme during the pōwhiri for the 2017 intake last week at Epsom Campus. The new cohort of about 20 students were joined by alumni from past years including some members of the first Huarahi Māori cohort (1997-1999), their whānau as well as faculty staff and students.

After the pōwhiri, a lunch reception was held at Te Piringa. Graduates of the programme over the years who are now in educational leadership roles were introduced by Sophie Tauwehe Tamati, a member of the first Huarahi Māori cohort (1997-1999) and now now a senior lecturer at Te Puna Wānanga - School of Māori and Indigenous Education. Twenty-one-year-old student Tianarangi Matiu, representing students past and present, blew out the candles on the ceremonial cake.

Te Kawehau Hoskins, Head of School said, "This is a lovely occasion to start the year. The Huarahi Māori programe is a really important programme for our whole country. It's one of the last - if not the last - Maori Medium Teacher Education programmes so we want to remember it and nurture it for the future. To our students who will be with us over the next four years, welcome, welcome, welcome!"

"What motivated me to join the Faculty of Education and Social Work is my desire to grow and flourish in the Māori world. This (event) is a good way of welcoming us to our new whānau at the faculty," new student Te Rina Robens said.

View photos of this event.

Looking back to 21 years

The Bachelor of Education (Teaching) - Huarahi Māori programme was first offered in 1997 by what was then the Auckland College of Education, now the Faculty of Education and Social Work.

Sophie Tauwehe Tamati says, "The programme has grown so much since then. We are now attracting an increasing number of masters and PhD students because of our excellence and expertise in te reo Māori.”  

“We have specialists across a range of dimensions (of Māori studies) – from literacy, oral language and formal language through to linguistics, technology and curriculum.”

This year Tauwehe is supervising three PhD students and three masters students, all of whom are writing their theses in te reo Māori. This is a breakthrough for the faculty’s Huarahi Māori programme.

The Kāhui Raukura Alumni

Celebrations for the 21st year of the Huarahi Māori programme also includes a reunion in June of former and present students (1997-2017). This has given rise to the setting up of the Kāhui Raukura Reo Māori Alumni organisation. Its goal is to promote te reo Māori (Māori language) regeneration in Aotearoa New Zealand through its extensive contacts and networks.

The formal launch of the Kāhui Raukura Reo Māori Alumni is scheduled for November this year.

Watch the video on Te Karere TVNZ: Helping to plug the Māori teacher gap

Read the story of Huarahi Māori alumna Sophie Tauwehe Tamati.