Support for Māori students

Discover the range of academic, personal and financial support you can access through Te Korowai Atawhai.

Korowai-wearing students

Te Korowai Atawhai - “the cloak of kindness, warmth and support”

Te Korowai Atawhai provides a safe space that allows tauira (students) to explore their cultural identity and manaaki’s (supports) them in their academic endeavours. As a service our focus is to nurture (awhi) tauira so that they are able to meet their potential in whatever pathway they choose to follow from pre-enrolment through to graduation. Te Korowai Atawhai also gives tauira the opportunity to meet other Māori students and whanaunga studying at Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland.

How we help

We are part of the University’s Tuakana network and provide a range of support services for students who are enrolled at the Faculty of Education and Social Work.

Our team have all studied at university so we understand the challenges that students face. We provide a culturally supportive and friendly environment to help you maximise your potential during your time as a student.

Remember, no question is a silly question. The team at Te Korowai Atawhai have heard them all and we will not judge. We are passionate about Māori students success and we want you to be successful.

Academic support

Academic support through Te Korowai Atawhai includes:

  • academic skills
  • workshops
  • wānanga
  • study information
  • personal time management
  • formatting and structure with assessment


Te Korowai Atawhai run specialist wānanga for students three times during a year.

The first wānanga focuses on study strategies, note-taking and time management to help you get through your first semester, and other basic skills that will assist with your transition into tertiary study.

The second is an exam wānanga that focuses on the upcoming exams, including exam study techniques, writing techniques and how to interpret exam questions.

The final wānanga will prepare you for the end-of-year exams. Both of these exam wānanga will have specialised tutors and lecturers in each exam area that will cover course content.

Pouwhirinaki Mentoring programme

We also provide a Pouwhirinaki Mentoring Programme. Year Two and Year Three students are mentors for Year One and Year Two students. These mentors have been chosen specifically for their academic strengths and their individual skill sets such as proficiency in te reo Māori.

Pouwhirinaki are available for Year One and Year Two students to access all year round to support their studies.

If you would like to access their support, contact Rochai Taiaroa at

Apply to become a Pouwhirinaki

Get to know some of our Pouwhirinaki

Katie Penfold

"I love helping other students learn and grow and reach their fullest potential. I love giving back to my community and teaching. My advice to students is, attend class, don't procrastinate – and ask for help when you need it."

Haki Wilson

"During my first year at University, I found it quite difficult to adjust. I decided to become a student-mentor so I can help others who are going through the same problems I did. My strengths are in Te Reo Māori me ōna tikanga and Pāngarau (Māori Maths). I am a good listener if you need someone to chat with."

Crystal Kire

"I am a mum of four young children so my strength is planning and organisation. With strong planning any project can be tackled. For students who are struggling, talk to one of us ASAP! If you fail we all fail, so ask for help early on."

Pastoral support

Advocacy and academic advice are just a few of the pastoral services that we offer. Our staff are always here to help – regardless of your situation. If we don't have the resources to help you, we will be able to refer you to other support services or people who can help you.

The Te Korowai Atawhai team will keep in contact with you throughout the process. A kanohi ki te kanohi approach helps to ensure your university experience is enjoyable. From the smallest challenges to life-changing situations, Te Korowai Atawhai staff are here to provide unlimited support.

Financial support

Having problems getting your head around Studylink? Te Korowai Atawhai can help you make sense of what is required.  

Looking for scholarships?  Te Korowai Atawhai can help you find the right scholarship, whether they are iwi, gender specific, or course of study based, giving you advice on what is needed for applications.

Contact us

Find out who we are and how to reach us when you need to.

Office hours

Monday to Friday
8.30am - 3.30pm
Individual appointments can be made.
Join our Facebook group


D Block, Te Puna Wānanga
Gate 1, Faculty of Education and Social Work
Epsom Avenue

Student Space

Located in C Block, Room C12, we provide students with:

  • computer stations
  • printing facilities
  • study centre

Student Support Advisor (Māori)

Audrey Hohaia
Student Support Adviser
Phone: +64 (0) 9 373 7599 ext 48164

Audrey is the go-to person for Māori student support initiative Te Korowai Atawhai, that supports Māori students to academic success and achievement. Audrey also oversees the Pou Whirinaki collective – specially selected student mentors who have already walked in your shoes and are able to answer your study queries.

She can advise in three key areas – academic, pastoral and financial. She is available to have one-to-one sessions or to work with groups. She has an extensive knowledge of scholarships, especially Māori scholarships, study strategies and Study Link matters. Her physical location is D block – next to the Tutahi Tonu marae.

Academic Advisor/Community Engagement Māori

Miss Ata Houpapa
Student Academic Adviser
Phone: +64 (0) 9 373 7599 ext 48618

Ata's role is to help students with their applications, enrolments and degree planning. Her main focus area is Te Puna Wānanga programmes, particularly the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) - Huarahi Māori. However, she is happy to assist any Māori students with queries.