Tuākana is a University-wide learning community that enhances the academic success of our Māori and Pacific students.

Most of the University’s Māori and Pacific students engage with Tuākana. The faculties have dedicated staff and meeting spaces to support our Māori and Pacific students, and they develop their own programmes to complement the teaching and learning environment.

Tuākana offers small-group learning, whakawhanaungatanga, wānanga, face-to-face meetings and workshops. These help connect Māori and Pacific students with senior Māori and Pacific students (tuākana), academic teaching staff, and key people across the University.

Tuākana student journeys

Photo of Kalisiana in her graduation regalia, standing in front of her family
Kalisiana Buliruarua

Kalisiana Buliruarua 

Vaturova, Cakaudrove; Raviravi, Beqa (Fiji) 

Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Health Sciences (LLB/BHSc), 2015 

As Pacific people, our journey through education isn’t ours alone but is the result of the efforts of our families, our ancestors and the prayers of numerous people. I have a lot to be grateful for now that I have finished this chapter of my life. 

Being part of the Pacific family at the University of Auckland has been an amazing experience. Without the support of my whānau and friends, my journey would have been very different. It is one thing to come to University and leave with that coveted piece of paper but to come and experience a rich culture and leave with the grounded sense of belonging is truly something I will always be grateful for. 

Being awarded a CATS* scholarship was great motivation to come to the University of Auckland and was the first step towards my goal of obtaining a Law degree. During my time at University, it was the guidance of the CATS mentors, PASS (Pasifika Academic Support Strategies) tutors and Pacific support staff that got me through. I also made many lifelong friends through my involvement in various Pacific student associations such as Gone Ni Viti, AUPISA and PILSA. These experiences were invaluable as they helped me to create networks, learn more about working with people, and they provided me with opportunities to serve my Pacific community here on campus. 


  • University of Auckland Chancellor’s Awards for Top Māori and Pacific Scholars (CATS), 2009-2011 
  • CATS mentor, 2011-2014 

*From 2017 CATS scholarships are being superseded by the University of Auckland Māori Academic Excellence Scholarships and the University of Auckland Pacific Academic Excellence Scholarships. 

Tuākana in the faculties

The Student Equity Adviser, based in the Equity Office East Wing of the ClockTower, can answer questions and help you to register. Contact Naomi Fuamatu n.fuamatu@auckland.ac.nz, Student Equity Adviser.

Tuākana Contestable Fund

Photo of young Māori female student with a duffel bag

Kia Ora, Kia Orana, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Malo e lelei, Talofa lava, Bula vinaka and warm Pacific greetings

The purpose of the Tuākana Contestable Fund is to support the University's Māori and Pacific postgraduate students or potential postgraduate students who:

  • Have been selected to present academic research papers at a national or international conference, wānanga, symposium, fono or another related event; and have the support of their academic supervisor.
  • Would like to attend their first conference, wānanga, symposium, fono or other related event and will not be presenting papers (considered on a case by case basis).
  • Are potential postgraduate students in their final year of undergraduate study who wish to attend and/or present at conferences (considered on a case by case basis).
  • Priority will be given to first time applicants of this fund.
  • To ensure that all students have the opportunity to access this fund, there is a limit to support up to two students - attending the same conference from the same faculty. 

Please email Naomi Fuamatu (n.fuamatu@auckland.ac.nz) for any further inquiries.


Thumbnail of Tuākana brochure
Tuākana brochure (ebook)