Whitireia and WelTec unite programmes to create new Te Ao Māori performing arts group

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Whitireia and WelTec have established a new interdisciplinary group called Ngā Toi to unite Māori and Pacific performing arts and music within Te Wānanga Māori.

“The creation of Ngā Toi enables a roopu (unit) that will bring together creative and performing arts within a Māori-led ecosystem,” says Jeanette Grace, Dean of Te Wānanga Māori at Whitireia.

The new group, created following consultation and feedback, will be based at the Whitireia Porirua campus and will deliver the following programmes:

“Ngā Toi upholds the vocational education ethos to engage ākonga (students) with learning, develop self-confidence, link back to cultural whakapapa, and enable success,” says Mark Oldershaw, Manahautū Executive Director at Whitireia and WelTec. “It also presents an opportunity to grow an interdisciplinary performing arts group with strong kaupapa and retain the level 3 and 4 music programmes within this newly established group.”

Ngā Toi will be co-located in the current facilities used by Māori and Pacific Performing Arts at Whitireia in Porirua. A kawenata (governance group) led by the Dean of Te Wānanga Māori and including the Chief Advisor Pacific and Head of the School of Creative and Hospitality will oversee the new unit.

“We endeavour to shape our practice and delivery to facilitate learning and success in the Wellington region, and our flexible approach responds to needs and maximises accessibility to vocational education for ākonga (students) in our region,” said Mr Oldershaw.

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