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. Following the Pōwhiri, the Māori and Pacific groups separated and each cohort was welcomed by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon. The first member of his family fortunate enough to attend university, Professor McCutcheon encouraged the audiences to have fun, work hard and take advantage of the many resources available to our Māori and Pacific students. These include the Equity Office’s Māori and Pacific advisers, Tuākana Learning Community and the Health and Counselling Service. The Vice-Chancellor also relayed stories of the lifelong friendships he made while at the halls of residence. And he referenced the recent study by Universities New Zealand - Te Pōkai Tara that cites the increased earning power that comes from a university degree. Following information sessions and speeches by distinguished speakers, students and their whānau and families flocked to the John Hood Plaza for an afternoon of food, stalls and entertainment.
“The day couldn’t have gone better, and we appreciate the support of the many people from across the University who helped make this year’s Māori and Pacific Welcome such a success,” says Jonaan McLeod, event organiser and the Equity Office’s Kaitakawaenga Māori - Māori Liaison Officer. “The University’s commitment to being safe, inclusive and equitable means our Māori and Pacific students can realise their potential and achieve the amazing.”