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  • Callum Knight

Looking back on Hui Kaiārahi ki Ōtautahi, looking ahead to Te Huinga Tauira 2022

While many of us were on a much-needed study break, the tumuaki of Te Mana Ākonga’s member rōpū came together in Ōtautahi over the weekend of 01–03 July for the fourth hui kaiārahi of the year. Te Akatoki and Te Awhioraki hosted representatives from Te Rōpū Māori, Ngāi Tauira, Manawatahi, NZUSA, Te Waiora me te Kāhuinga Tumuaki, and Tītahi ki Tua at Wairewa Marae in the Ōkana valley, on the east side of Te Roto o Wairewa.

A group of smiling people stand in front of the entrance to a meeting house.

Photo: Te Mana Ākonga

Hui kaiārahi are an important part of the year for member rōpū. They're an opportunity for tumuaki (or their representatives) to catch up, collaborate, commiserate over the raru that come up at institutions, and celebrate each other's successes. And they're also essential for ensuring Te Mana Ākonga is being governed transparently and democratically.

The weekend was full of workshops, kōrero, and whakawhanaungatanga, kicked off with…

The Official Stuff

On Friday night, rōpū tumuaki shared updates on the mahi they’ve been up to since the last Hui Kaiārahi was held in May. The list of rōpū achievements is too long to cover here – which is why Te Pararē will be featuring a series profiling the various rōpū and their mahi over the coming months.

Te Mana Ākonga tumuaki Kyla Campbell-Kamariera and kaihāpai Kerira Tapene also updated rōpū on their massive mahi throughout the second quarter of 2022. Highlights of the past few months include:

  • Partnering with the Green Party and other national students' associations to launch the people's inquiry into student wellbeing

  • Appointing Rosa Hibbert-Schooner (tumuaki of Te Akatoki) as the TMĀ nominee to the Academic Quality Assurance Board

  • Meeting with the NZQA Board, along with other national student representatives, for a kōrero on learner voice in the tertiary sector

  • Meeting with the NZQA Code of Pastoral Care team to kōrero about wellbeing from a tauira Māori perspective

  • Holding ongoing tri-weekly hui with Te Pūkenga to discuss mutual interests and to work collaboratively to strengthen learner voices across the TMĀ network

  • Meeting with organisations to explore partnership opportunities that will benefit the tauira Māori experience

But hui kaiārahi aren’t only about the official business. There’s also…

The Fun Stuff

Over the rest of the weekend, tumuaki had the opportunity to participate in workshops and kōrero led by Corban Te Aika, Tori McNoe, and Ivy Harper.

Ivy – ex-TMĀ tumuaki, Te Awhioraki tumuaki and Lincoln University Students’ Association president – facilitated a wānanga among the tumuaki, relating her experiences in student politics to some of the issues and kaupapa facing tumuaki and rōpū Māori today.

Corban, a kaiārahi in the College of Engineering at the University of Canterbury and trustee of The Arts Centre of Christchurch Trust Board, took the rōpū on a guided tour of Kaiapoi Pā and shared knowledge and history of the local hapū and iwi. “Taking hui kaiārahi to different parts of the motu is also an opportunity to learn more about one another and the local history” says Kyla.

Up next: Te Huinga Tauira 2022

The next big meeting for TMĀ and the rōpū will be Te Huinga Tauira 2022, which will take place this year on Thursday the 1st and Friday the 2nd of September. The last full THT was in 2019 – THT 2020 and 2021 were cancelled (because Covid), and the AGM portion had to be held online. This year, Te Mana Ākonga and hosts Tītahi ki Tua have made the call early to hold an online version of THT, rather than kanohi ki te kanohi.

With the renewed surge in Covid cases, it's clear this was the right call to protect the hauora of tauira. Tītahi ki Tua are hard at work preparing an engaging series of online workshops for THT 2022, and the preview they shared at Hui Kaiārahi ki Ōtautahi is looking great.

As new variants continue to develop overseas, it’s almost impossible to know whether next year’s Te Huinga will be held in-person or online. Te Tari Whakahaere, alongside the hosts of Te Huinga Tauira 2023, will jointly make that decision.

Many tauira and tumuaki currently studying have never been able to experience Te Huinga as it was pre-Covid. The upside to this is that it presents an opportunity for future hosts and tumuaki to reinvent Te Huinga, creating a clean break from its binge-drinking stigma. Last year’s TKT tumuaki got that ball rolling with the decision to cut down drinking-focused events from all three nights to just one.


Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air.


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