Whitireia and WelTec’s Matariki celebrations have special significance this year, acknowledging the transition to Te Pūkenga, with a particular focus on the institutes’ existing partnerships with iwi - Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Te Āti Āwa.
“Whitireia, WelTec, and Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Āwa have a shared commitment to supporting ākonga Māori, whānau and communities - and this will continue into our future with Te Pūkenga,” says Mark Oldershaw, Chief Executive of Whitireia and WelTec.
“Matariki is a wonderful time for us to honour our past, recognise our shared mahi in the present, and value our existing relationships.
“One of the major pou (pillars) in Whitireia and WelTec’s strategic framework is to improve outcomes and opportunities for ākonga Māori. Iwi partnerships are critical to achieving this and celebrating Matariki together with our iwi partners and local communities is a way to reaffirm our valued connections.
“Matariki is also about looking to the future, accepting and celebrating change, we look forward to seeing more detail in Hōnongoi (July) from Te Pūkenga on how we will come together in as a new unified network of provision.
During the months of Matariki, Chair of Te Āti Āwa, Kura Moeahu, will address kaimahi (staff) and ākonga (students) at WelTec’s Petone campus; and Ngāti Toa Rangatira commemorated their signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi at Takapūwāhia marae with Ngāti Toa Rangatira board chair, Callum Katene, as a guest speaker.
“Ngāti Toa and Whitireia have authentically and effectively partnered for decades,” says Helmut Modlik, chief executive of Ngāti Toa Rangatira. “Our shared values, aspirations and endeavour are now shared with Te Pūkenga, and Ngāti Toa is excited about what lies ahead.”
“The link between WelTec and Te Āti Āwa has gone from strength to strength,” says Kura Moeahu, Chair, Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Āwa. “Our whakatauki for Matariki is apt for our relationships in education, new and old:
Matariki pūkenga nui ki te ao
Te Āti Awa nō runga i te rangi
He kaitiaki ki te whenua
Matariki launcher of skills to the world
Te Āti Āwa of celestial origins
Guardians on the land.”
As part of the Matariki celebrations, WelTec and Whitireia have put together a series of events and activities for kaimahi (staff) and ākonga (students) to help turn thinking towards the future.
This includes an online ‘kete’, Te Kete o Matariki, where kaimahi (staff) can share messages, memories, acknowledge achievements, and express hopes for the future.
There will also be opportunities to share kai (food), connect with poi and carving workshops, and guest speakers to share thoughts on mental health and wellbeing. Find out more here.
As of 31 Hakihea (December) this year, Whitireia and WelTec will become part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, together with all the other polytechnics and some ITO’s in Aotearoa's part of the Government’s Reform of Vocational Education.
Matariki, a cluster of stars that rises in midwinter and heralds the start of the Māori new year, holds special significance for Whitireia and WelTec as part of this transition.