On Wednesday 9 November the Undercroft was swarming with Year 10 ākonga Māori (Māori students) from various schools around Canterbury. It was an excellent day filled with activities run by UC Colleges. The purpose of the event was to welcome ākonga Māori onto campus and to inspire the idea of Tertiary education as a possibility as they enter into their first year of NCEA in 2017.
The theme of the day was “E tipu, e rea, mō ngā rā o tōu ao…” (“Grow up and thrive for the days destined to you…”) a quote from the whakatauki of well-known political leader Tā Apirana Ngāta. It seemed fitting to follow his words as he was a UC graduate himself and the first Māori graduate to complete a degree at a New Zealand university. With many opportunities available at UC, ākonga Māori have the ability to grow up and thrive for whatever they choose.
Ākonga Māori were connected with UC Tuākana (mentors from the Māori Development Team) and together they participated in college activities which were led by UC staff. Tuākana and Staff were amazing, their enthusiasm on the day was infectious and you could see ākonga really getting involved, the competition for prizes was intense at each activity. There was lots of noise and laughter coming from the Undercroft, a sign of a great event.
Michelle Bergman, Māori Outreach Advisor