© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Polytechnic wants higher completion rates for Maori

Powhiri Entrance II
Powhiri welcoming students to Are Institute of Canterbury  Tim Lomax

Ara Institute of Canterbury want to increase Maori student course completion rates from 70 to 90%.

The institute boasts 1964 students who identify as Maori, making up 12% of the student body. 

Seven out of every 10 Maori students who enrol in courses complete them. 

Ara Maori director Te Marino said one of the institute's initiatives was to increase the completion rate to have 90% of Maori students finishing their courses. 

By welcoming Maori students and their whanau to the institute's wharenui, the students were provided with a familiar and safe environment in which they were introduced to additional pastoral care for the duration of their course, he said.

Students were welcomed with a haka by members of the institutes student body as well as staff.

More than 500 Maori students and their families were expected to attend the formal welcoming, however only a handful attended the event.

Marino said it was the first event of its kind and the institute would promote similar events throughout the year to engage with its Maori students. 

Ara Chief Executive Kay Giles welcomes students Tim Lomax