Architecture Tuākana

Information about Tuākana support available to Architecture students at the University of Auckland.

Tuākana mentors

Lucy Vete

"Malo e lelei. My name is Lusitania Vete and I am a fifth year student, in my final year of the Master of Architecture (Professional) programme.

"I was born in New Zealand and I am primarily of Tongan descent. I wanted to study architecture because I found the interplay between creativity and logic an interesting duo basis from which to learn and create.

"Architects and designers are creative problem-solvers and throughout my bachelors I came to learn more about how important this creative problem-solving is, especially in the context of the growing urban crises in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand.

"The Tuākana programme offers a safe environment for students to gain extra help or feedback on their work (as needed) and encourages a strong, cultural learning community within respective faculties.

"Just like in real practice, the Tuākana programme at the School of Architecture and Planning centers around collaborative learning and we like to run our tutorial sessions as groups so we can bounce ideas off each other.

"As a recipient of the Vice Chancellor's award for Top Māori and Pacific Scholars, the University provided me with a mentor during my first year of study. This was very helpful for me and has made it all the more rewarding to become a tuākana (mentor) and give back to the new creative minds coming into the school.

"I look forward to helping you succeed in your studies this year."


Matilda Phillips

"Talofa Lava!

"My name is Matilda Phillips. I am a Samoan Architecture student and I have recently completed my Bachelor of Architectural Studies undergraduate degree. I am currently pursuing a combined Masters in Architecture and Urban Design (MArch(Prof)UrbDes).
After studying, I intend to work in New Zealand until I gain architectural registration. Afterwards, I will return home to Samoa to practice.

"The Tuākana programme is one of the best resources available to you in your first year. It is a place where you are free to ask questions, get one-on-one help with your work, and are shown practically how to do things. Another really important aspect of Tuākana is that we act as your University family. You will meet great people and we will help you respond to the many challenges of uni life.

"Studying architecture hasn't just provided me with a future career; it has given me a greater knowledge of my own cultural heritage, which is invaluable. I look forward to seeing more Pacific and Māori students come into the programme and I am privileged to be able to help you all succeed.

"See you soon!"

Tuākana Room

The Creative Arts and Industries Tuākana Room is Room 220 of the Architecture and Planning Building (421), and is available for Māori and Pacific Architecture students to use for study and relaxation.

More information.

Tuākana workshops

  • Tuākana workshops are designed for Māori and Pacific students studying architecture at the University and are held by the tuākana (mentors) for Architecture.
  • Our tuākana are high-achieving Māori and/or Pacific students who have taken your courses, know how to get good grades and are dedicated to helping you achieve. Not only are they clever, but they are also friendly and supportive – they are easy to approach and happy to advise you about your courses.
  • Tuākana workshops are run in addition to the compulsory tutorials and lectures that you enrol in. If you are a Māori or Pacific student taking a course for which workshops are run, you are strongly encouraged to attend your compulsory tutorials and lectures as well as your Tuākana workshops.

Semester One

Workshops for Subjects Tutors
ARCHDES 100 Design 1         Lucy & Matilda
ARCHDES 200 Design 3 Lucy & Matilda
ARCHDES 201 Design 4 Lucy & Matilda
ARCHDES 300 Design 5 Lucy & Matilda

Semester Two

Workshops for Subject Tutors
ARCHDES 101 Design 2 Lucy & Matilda
ARCHHTC 102 Modern Architecture and Urbanism Lucy & Matilda
ARCHDES 201 Design 4 Lucy & Matilda
ARCHDES 301 Design 6 Lucy & Matilda

Join our Facebook group

If you are a Māori or Pacific student studying Architecture at any level, please join our Facebook group. Our Facebook group provides a positive and supportive community where teina (students) can share information, ask and answer questions and build friendships with one another. Lucy and Matilda are active members and use the group to post reminders, supplement Tuākana workshops and respond to students’ questions.