TE WĀNANGA O RAUKAWA

What Constitutes Success?

May 2012

By Mereana Selby

One of the Kāpiti Coast’s unique taonga,  Te Wānanga o Raukawa, at Ōtaki, says it believes ‘the Māori mind is as good as any other!’

And in her latest column for The Independent, Mereana Selby, Tumuaki (president) of Te Wānanga, says:

“We take very seriously our responsibility to the survival of our people as Māori.

“In doing so, we look to provide opportunities in education for our people that are both empowering and are built on the belief that the knowledge and teachings of our ancestors is as relevant today as it was yesterday.”

Here’s her column in full………

Nau mai, haere mai ki Te Wānanga o Raukawa,

What constitutes success?  Here at Te Wānanga o Raukawa, we believe that success is realised through the production of Māori graduates, not graduates who happen to be Māori.  The fact we are a ‘tikanga Māori institution’, that is, an institution guided and informed in all that we do by our ten kaupapa is the attraction that draws students to us.  Our kaupapa or guiding principles are the source from where we draw our strength and inspiration. Handed down from our ancestors they permit us access to the Māori world view and provide the tools necessary to experience our reality through Māori eyes.

With a student body consisting of 98 percent Maori, the student makeup is comprised of iwi throughout the country along with members from within The ART Confederation.  As an open entry tertiary provider, with an average student age of 37 years we find many students are second chance learners who bring with them a multitude of life experiences and knowledge.  At the other ends of the spectrum we enjoy the vitality that our rangatahi bring to the wānanga student environment through the participation of Kura Māori (Māori secondary schools) while our student kuia and kaumātua provide the guidance and leadership aspect to the classroom.

We run a residential based delivery system which sees students on campus for intensive week long deliveries five times a year and for Hui Rumaki Reo there are three deliveries per year.  Where iwi and hapū have identified a desire, we have looked to deliver our courses at marae based sites throughout Aotearoa.  This has worked well for both staff and students with 60 percent of our students now marae based.  We have found these arrangements have greatly strengthened our relationships with the wider Māori community.

With eighty percent of our provision at degree or post graduate level our mātauranga Māori knowledge base continues to increase.  Our complement of programmes now includes seventeen Bachelors’ Degrees and five Masters, all approved and accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.  We are also proud to offer Te Kāurutanga our own qualification that is the equivalent of a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D).  Each qualification we offer at Te Wānanga o Raukawa has three components, the specialty subject and two compulsory curricula – Te Reo Māori and Iwi and Hapū studies.  It is within these two compulsory areas of study where our students find the greatest challenges but also where they gain the most satisfaction and personal growth.

At Te Wānanga o Raukawa we believe that the Māori mind is as good as any other.  We take very seriously our responsibility to the survival of our people as Māori.   In doing so, we look to provide opportunities in education for our people that are both empowering and built on the belief that the knowledge and teachings of our ancestors is as relevant today as it was yesterday.

Nāku i roto i ngā mihi,