Te Ara Tautika | The Equity Policy


Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland and all of its members.


This policy sets out the University’s commitment to being an environment where all can thrive.


Aotearoa New Zealand is a country of rich diversity, where Māori are tangata whenua with strong kinship, cultural, social, and economic links to the Pacific and beyond.

People from all over Aotearoa New Zealand and across the globe are attracted to and join our community, making Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland a place of many cultures, identities, ethnicities, and values.

The University recognises, and seeks to develop mutually beneficial relationships with, the iwi and hapū where our campuses are located.

The University offers a welcoming and safe environment for students, staff, and guests to succeed and thrive.

This equity policy sets out principles, responsibilities, and expectations of the University and all of its members. It also identifies related policies, procedures and guidelines that describe and support the implementation of this policy.


The University recognises the importance of and is committed to:

a.    Te Tiriti o Waitangi, in particular ngā tikanga katoa rite tahi | Māori ways of doing, equal to all others, as given expression through Toitū Waipapa | The Enduring Framework.
b.    The sacred vā or special relationship between Māori and Pacific peoples by virtue of shared whakapapa as well as commonalities in origins, languages, histories, and culture.
c.    The concept of Whakawhanaungatanga, the establishment of respectful relationships, and affirms:

  • Whanaungatanga, the reciprocal process of maintaining relationships and connections.
  • Manaakitanga, upholding the mana of others by providing safe, inclusive, equitable, and accessible environments, which enable everyone to thrive.

d.    Supporting achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.



1. The University and its members are responsible for:

i.    Celebrating and affirming the diversity of our communities.
ii.    Striving to dismantle barriers and forms of privilege where they denigrate mana and perpetuate inequities.
iii.    Enabling all members of the University community and those seeking to join it to experience equitable access, participation, and success.
iv.    Upholding and maintaining mana, which includes creating appropriate options and future opportunities for people and groups, particularly for those who experience prejudice, discrimination, intolerance, underrepresentation, or who have been historically excluded.
v.    Understanding intersectionality and its effects in order to effectively remove barriers to access, participation, and success.
vi.    Appreciating that achieving equity is everyone’s responsibility as well as a right.

2. The University is responsible for addressing structural and systemic ableism, ageism, classism, homophobia, racism, religious intolerance, sexism, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination, especially for groups that have historically been and are disadvantaged or marginalised.


3. The University will:

i.    Create an environment and avenues for learning that embrace te ao Māori, mātauranga Māori, kaupapa Māori, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and our Pacific context and connections.
ii.    Be flexible and continuously evolve in creating a welcoming and safe environment where people feel free to bring their authentic selves to work and study.
iii.    Partner with students and staff members to develop and implement strategies, plans, procedures, and guidelines, with accountability and appropriate measures of progress and success, to operationalise the principles and responsibilities described by this policy.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Community means all students, staff members, honorary and adjunct staff, contractors and subcontractors, consultants, associates, partners, alumni, visitors, and guests of the University, as well as members of University Council.

Discrimination is defined by the Human Rights Act 1993 and can occur when a person is treated less favourably than another person, in the same or similar circumstances, because of a prohibited ground such as their sex, colour, religious belief, race, marital status, ethnic or national origins, family status, ethical belief, sexual orientation, political opinion, age, employment status or disability.

Equity is fair and just access, participation, experiences, and success. Achieving equity is everyone’s right and responsibility.

Hapū means kinship group, clan, tribe, subtribe.

Intersectionality refers to the ways in which different aspects of a person's identity can expose them to overlapping and compounding forms of discrimination and marginalisation.

Iwi means extended kinship group, and often refers to a large group of people descended from a common ancestor and associated with a distinct territory.

Kaupapa Māori means Māori approach, topic, customary practice, institution, agenda, principles, ideology, incorporating the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values of Māori society.

Mana means status, prestige, authority, standing.

Mātauranga Māori refers to traditional and contemporary bodies, forms, and expressions of Māori knowledge, and includes world view and cultural practices.

Members of Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland are all students, staff members, honorary and adjunct staff, contractors and subcontractors, consultants, and members of University Council.

Tangata whenua means ‘people of the land’, the Indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Te ao means world or world view.

Te Ara Tautika means the journey towards an equitable university environment.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals means the 17 sustainable development goals described in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015. These Goals recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

University means Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Waipapa Taumata Rau means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

This policy relates to and informs the implementation of plans, other policies and mandatory procedures, including:

The responsibilities and expectations described in this policy are also implemented by related guidelines, including:

Relevant documents are also available at:

Document management and control

Owner: Pro Vice-Chancellor Equity
Content manager: Senior Research and Policy Adviser - Equity
Approved by: Vice-Chancellor
Date approved: 11 November 2022
Review date:  November 2027