Equity news & events

Events to promote equity are held throughout the year, both centrally in the University and in all faculties. These help ensure that all staff and students are given all possible opportunities to succeed at the University.

Messages from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon

A safe, inclusive and equitable university

Recent overseas events are a sobering reminder of why our University is committed to being safe, inclusive and equitable. The mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, which targeted patrons at a nightclub popular with the gay community, reinforces how important it is that our own lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community feels safe and supported. As the 30th anniversary of the Homosexual Law Reform Act approaches, it is timely to highlight the University's range of resources and support for our LGBTI students and staff. More information is available on the website at LGBTI students and staff.

The issue of consent has also caused reverberations around the world, as the sexual assaults of unconscious female students at Stanford University and Vanderbilt University in the US, have been publicised. A video produced by Thames Valley Police (UK) makes the issue of consent crystal-clear, Tea and Consent.

If you, or someone you know, is affected by abuse and violence, we can help. Family violence - It's Not OK.

Unacceptable "isms"

"Racism, often delivered thoughtlessly or as "humour", derives from a tendency to ascribe negative characteristics to another group, and assume that the characteristics of some members of a group apply to them all. Likewise sex-ism, age-ism, and so on. As well as being damaging, such "-isms" do not withstand scientific scrutiny, differences within human groups being typically much greater than differences between groups. On both counts, they have no place in a university."

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon has made a statement about unacceptable "isms" in the University. Read more here.

Equity in the News

Equity in the News is a monthly selection of equity-focused articles and stories from NZ and around the world. To subscribe to the monthly link to Equity in the News, click here

Equity in the News for Jan-Feb 2017
A selection of equity-focused articles making the headlines so far in 2017. (36.8 kB, PDF)


White Ribbon Day

Today, 25 November, is White Ribbon Day, designated by the United Nations as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Everyone is entitled to respect, and to live free from fear and abuse.

The University's Family Violence Project, which includes a Policy, supports students and staff who experience violence from someone close to them, such as a partner, family member or flatmate.

Watch the Human Rights Commission's new video about why it is important for businesses to have a Family Violence Policy.

New family violence offences to be created

New family violence offences will be created as part of more than 50 changes to the current Domestic Violence Act.

The changes come after nearly 500 detailed submissions from individuals and groups were received after the Government released a discussion document last August.

Read more at New family violence offences to be created (NZ Herald)

Find out more about the University's Family Violence Project

Te Pūnaha Matatini's Maths Craft Festival

Discover the maths behind craft and the craft behind maths in New Zealand’s first Maths Craft Festival, September 3-4 at the Auckland Museum. Featuring eight craft creation stations and a series of public talks, the two-day festival promises to engage people of all ages. Fold an origami dodecahedron, crochet a hyperbolic plane, build a fractal sculpture, and listen to talks from mathematicians and crafters on topics from the mathematics behind knitting, to turning geometry into art.

Dates: September 3 & 4
Time: 10am-5pm
Where: Auckland Museum
Cost: Free entry to festival with museum ticket
Web: www.mathscraftnz.org

NZ Red Cross recognises Equity Office’s work with students from refugee backgrounds


26 July 2016

New Zealand Red Cross - Rīpeka Whero Aotearoa has recognised the Equity Office – Te Ara Tautika for its work supporting students from refugee backgrounds.

The Equity Office has developed a project to support prospective and current students from refugee backgrounds. This work includes an engagement programme with Auckland secondary schools with high populations of students from refugee backgrounds; alternative pathways via the Undergraduate Targeted Admission Schemes (UTAS) and the Tertiary Foundation Certificate; new scholarship opportunities; and ongoing collaboration with AUSA to establish a club for our students from refugee backgrounds.

Read more here

STEAM Ahead messages resonate strongly with students

Students at STEAM Ahead 2016
Students at STEAM Ahead 2016

7 July 2016

A focus on self-awareness, self-discipline and self-affirmation marked STEAM Ahead, an annual recruitment day aimed at Year 13 Māori and Pacific students interested in studying science, technology, engineering, architecture and medicine. 

Led by the Equity Office – Te Ara Tautika, STEAM Ahead supports the University’s commitment to being safe, inclusive and equitable. This year’s event also reflected the theme of personal stories and journeys, as highlighted by the whakataukī of respected kaumatua and activist Sir James Henare: “Tawhiti rawa tou haerenga ake te kore haere tonu. He nui rawa ō tātou mahi te kore e mahi tonu.” (You have come too far not to go further. We have done too much not to do more.).

Read more here

Campus visits for students from refugee backgrounds

James Cook High School students from refugee backgrounds on a campus visit
James Cook High School students from refugee backgrounds on a campus visit

15 June 2016

The University’s Equity Office – Te Ara Tautika is leading a programme of campus visits to help familiarise secondary students from refugee backgrounds with the University.

The pilot engagement programme works with Auckland secondary schools with high populations of students from refugee backgrounds (SRB). The programme supports the University’s commitment to being safe, inclusive and equitable.

Read more here

Nosia Fogogo: here to achieve

Bachelor of Law student Nosia Fogogo
Bachelor of Law student Nosia Fogogo

Imagine for a moment that you are a young teenager, and you have just travelled around the globe to land in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, know nothing about its culture and ways, have no community of support, and own nothing more than what’s in your suitcase.

This almost-impossible-to-imagine scenario was Nosia Fogogo’s reality when she moved to New Zealand from the Central African Republic of Burundi 11 years ago. In March 2005, Nosia and several of her family members arrived at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre in Auckland. There, they spent six weeks learning about New Zealand life, language and customs.

Today, Nosia is a poised, articulate and confident young woman embarking on her third year of a Bachelor of Laws. Back then, she says, she was a shy teen who, understandably, was torn by a range of emotions upon her arrival in New Zealand.

Read more here

Insights from prison

26 May 2016

Associate Professor Tracey McIntosh (Ngāi Tuhoe), a sociologist at the University of Auckland, has spent much of her academic career seeking insights into what she calls “the deep, dark well of violence in our society”.

In an article in the latest issue of Ingenio, Tracey talks about her ongoing research into Māori women who are currently in prison, and men who have exited prison, and are attempting to create lives for themselves in general society. This research has resulted in these men and women, from both inside and outside of our prison walls, becoming collaborators in a new research project - rather than just participants. 

Read more here

Hundreds of new scholarships to support more students

23 May 2016

Hundreds of new undergraduate scholarships will be provided by the University of Auckland to help entry-level students transition into university life.

The University of Auckland has opened applications for four brand-new scholarship types which will be awarded to more than 400 students starting undergraduate studies in 2017 including;

  • University of Auckland Top Achiever Scholarships – value $20,000
  • University of Auckland Māori Academic Excellence Scholarships – value $20,000
  • University of Auckland Pacific Academic Excellence Scholarships – value $20,000
  • University of Auckland Academic Potential Scholarships – value up to $20,000

The University of Auckland will have many more scholarships available for students to apply for than any other New Zealand university.

Read more here

Watch the highlights from the Māori and Pacific Welcome 2016

10 May 2016

The Equity Office - Te Ara Tautika were excited to host over 500 new Māori and Pacific students and their whānau and families at this year's Māori and Pacific Welcome during Orientation Week. Check out the highlights from the day.

Pacific voices featured in digital stories project

29 April 2016

A project to foster more digital media production in the Pacific has flourished, thanks to the work of Dr Shuchi Kothari and Dr Sarina Pearson of Media, Film and Television.

The two filmmakers, along with Senior Media Technician Peter Simpson, have created the Pacific Digital Storytelling Project that enables amateur storytellers in Fiji, Tonga and Aotearoa New Zealand to make short personal films about their own lives from their own points of view.

Read more here

University welcomes new Māori and Pacific students

1 March 2016

More than 500 Māori and Pacific students and their whānau and family members in a large lecture room

Bright sunshine, inspirational stories and awesome entertainment helped make this year’s Māori and Pacific Welcome the best yet. Hosted by the Equity Office – Te Ara Tautika, the event saw over 500 new students and their whānau and families formally welcomed onto Waipapa Marae, where they were all encouraged to embrace the University as their village, their kāinga.

Read more here or view the Māori and Pacific Welcome photo album on Facebook

Increased benefit and Student Allowance for low-income families

2 March 2016

Student Allowance rates for families with children will increase by $25 a week from 1 April 2016.

This increase is automatic for students that have provided evidence of their children.

Read more here

Proud to support Pride

1 March 2016

Crowd of University of Auckland students and staff dressed as togas, behind a banner that says, "Supporting a safe, inclusive environment for students and staff"

The Equity Office – Te Ara Tautika and the LGBTI Events Working Group thank everyone who joined the University’s inaugural walking float at this year’s Auckland Pride Parade. Students and staff from across the faculties and service divisions, as well as many friends and family members, walked together to celebrate and support our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community. Flanked by the energetic roving band Superhero Second Line and amid cheers from the crowds lining Ponsonby Road, our float was a vibrant, visual reminder of the University’s commitment to being safe, inclusive and equitable.

To find out more about our LGBTI Student & Staff Network and faculty Rainbow Groups and to watch our Auckland Pride Parade video and Facebook photo album read here

University of Auckland acknowledges Dr Ranginui Walker

29 February 2016

The University of Auckland is saddened by the death of Emeritus Professor Ranginui Walker who died this morning at the age of 83.

Dr Walker was one of New Zealand’s most influential Māori academics. He studied at the University, gaining a Diploma of Teaching in 1962, a Bachelor of Arts in 1962 and a Master of Arts in 1966.

He was considered one of Māoridom’s most influential academic leaders and advocates for Māori rights and social justice.

Read more here

A Degree is a smart investment, says Universities NZ

16 February 2016

New data released today by Universities New Zealand - Te Pōkai Tara shows the value of investing in a degree with a typical graduate earning around $1.6 million more over their working life than a non-graduate. Read more here

Human Rights Commissioner congratulates the University of Auckland on implementing its family violence policy

2 February 2016

The Human Rights Commission is calling on more private and public organisations to support people in their organisations who are affected by family violence.

“Congratulations to Auckland University for implementing its family violence policy and family violence prevention and management guidelines for staff and students”, Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue said.

“Auckland University joins other enlightened leaders including the GCSB and The Warehouse in having family violence policies that support workers who are experiencing domestic violence. 

“We would like to challenge other organisations both in the public and private sector to follow suit”, Dr Blue said. “Supporting the human rights of workers is not just the right thing to do, it is also good for business.

Read more here

Elam graduate honoured with Prime Minister's Pacific Youth Award

9 December 2015

A young New Zealand-born Tongan artist creating work that investigates identity and the struggles of a bi-cultural life has been honoured with a 2015 Prime Minister's Pacific Youth Awards.

Sione Faletau, a recent graduate from the University of Auckland, has won the Arts & Creativity category, in recognition of his outstanding achievements.

Read more here

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity) says White Ribbon Day reinforces value of University's Family Violence Project

Three students and two staff members with arms crossed
Family violence - It's Not OK

November 25 is White Ribbon Day, designated by the United Nations as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The Equity Office – Te Ara Tautika has developed the University’s Family Violence Project. The project includes a policy, guidelines, training, resources, and a comprehensive website linking to internal and external support.

Read the full article



University supports Trans students’ legal name change


The University of Auckland will cover the cost of legal name changes for Trans students who meet eligibility criteria as assessed by the Equity Office.

Trans students’ experiences and University of Auckland research have identified that use of preferred rather than legal names is key to the provision of a safe and inclusive environment for Trans students. Inappropriate use of legal names can lead to “outing” and associated negative consequences including to health, safety and wellbeing.



Equity Office news archive


Equity events 2016

Equity-related events

Student equity events 2016




Māori and Pacific Welcome Monday 22 February
New University students
Polyfest Wednesday 16 - Saturday 19 March
Kei a Tātou te Ihi (KATTI) Wednesday 6 - Thursday 7 April
Year 13
PILOT Wednesday 13 - Thursday 14 April (Family evening 14 April)
Year 13

Wednesday 15 - Thursday 16 June (Family evening 16 June)

Friday 12 June (Waikato cohort)

Year 12
Kei a Tātou te Ihi (KATTI) Wednesday 22 - Thursday 23 June Year 12
STEAM Ahead Tuesday 28 June
Year 13
Māori and Pacific Finance Evening
Wednesday 27 July Year 12-13
Kei a Tātou te Ihi (KATTI) Tuesday 9 - Wednesday 10 August Year 11
Whāia Te Pae Tawhiti Thursday 25 - Monday 29 August Year 12-13
Kei a Tātou te Ihi (KATTI) Tuesday 18 - Thursday 20 October Year 10
PILOT Wednesday 17 - Thursday 18 August (Family evening 18 August)
Year 11
PILOT Wednesday 12 - Thursday 13 October (Family evening 13 October)
Year 10
BEAMS Monday 28 November - Friday 2 December (Schools choose one day only)
Year 10

BEAMS represents Business, Engineering, Architecture, Medicine, Science faculty workshops.

KATTI - Kei a Tātou te Ihi - is a collaborative motivational programme for Māori secondary school students delivered by tertiary Māori Liaison Officers.

PILOT is the Pacific Island Leaders of Tomorrow programme.  

STEAM represents Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture and Medicine faculty presentations.

School terms and holidays 2016

The New Zealand school year is divided into 4 terms for state and state-integrated schools. There is a 2 week break between each of the first 3 terms and a summer holiday at the end of the 4th term of about 6 weeks. Read more here