Ngāti Whātua Tertiary Summit

By Talisa Kupenga

Māori youth considering university next year were more confident about the transition to studying thanks to an iwi-led initiative. The three-day Ngāti Whātua Tertiary Summit, that concluded yesterday, saw more than 140 students attend and look at options for their futures. 

These students are excited for their future thanks to the Ngāti Whātua Tertiary Summit.

Truth Puriri (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongimaiwahine) says, "Even though Ngāti Kahungunu and Rongomaiwahine is my traditional home, Ngāti Whātua is my home away from home. That is one of the benefits of this summit. No matter who you are or where you are everyone here can stick together.”

For two years, the summit has helped prepare students for university study. The students connect with each other and work together with mentors who provide support.

John Henare Clarke (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Porou) says, "I'm from Ngāti Whātua but I only know so much so this kind of thing actually brought me closer to my iwi of Ngāti Whātua.”

The summit, supported by Te Runanga o Ngāti Whātua, Whai Māia Ōrākei and AUT, has seen student attendance numbers triple since last year. Puriri now knows what it is she would like to pursue.

Truth says, “One of my dreams is to become a teacher so I can help children from when they are small through to high school to decide what it is they want to do when they finish school.”

These youth here say all they want is to pursue careers they love so they can love what they do.