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Students Release Whiria Ngā Rau Framework

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA), Te Mana Ākonga (TMĀ), Tauira Pasifika (TP) and the National Disabled Students’ Association (NDSA) with the support of the Ministry of Education have today released Whiria Ngā Rau – Progressing from student voice to partnerships.

Whiria Ngā Rau is a gift from students to the tertiary education sector, containing ideas, challenges, and thoughts on how to embody student partnership and create a truly learner-centric education system.

Te Rito o Te Harakeke describes and presents an indigenous Māori whakataukī on whānau.

The focus centres around our obligation to nurture, support, and awhi our next generation.

NZUSA National President Andrew Lessells says that “while we hear outstanding examples of students as partners in learning; we also hear experiences from our tauira of decisions being made about them without them.”

For this reason, Te Whiria Ngā Rau draws from Te Rito o Te Harakeke and believes that students must be at the centre of the learner journey in tertiary education, strengthened with academic, mental, physical and community support.

Tauira Pasifika President Jaistone Finau says that “a mindset shift is crucial to breathing life into student partnership and that is what Whiria Ngā Rau intends to do.”

The Whiria Ngā Rau framework has four rau that tauira (students) and providers can use to build partnerships:

· Whakapakari: Strengthening students’ voices

· Whakawhanaungatanga: Building connections with each other

· Akoranga: Learning with and from each other

· Mahitahi: Working together

Te Mana Ākonga Tumuaki Takirua Nkhaya Paulsen-More says that “we've seen a significant improvement in relationships between students' associations across Aotearoa, but we feel that dissolving barriers between tertiary providers and tauira will help strengthen student-provider partnerships to create stronger relationships built on kotahitanga and whakawhanaungatanga.”

Whiria Ngā Rau will be formally launched at the Student Voice Summit on 19 November.

National Disabled Students’ Association President Alice Mander says that “the Student Voice Summit is a fantastic opportunity to bring different groups from the tertiary space together. It’s a great starting point for collaboration between diverse student populations, celebrating how far we have come, and preparing the next generation of leaders to take our mahi to the next level.”

The Whiria Ngā Rau framework and examples of it in use can be read at


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