Te Huinga Tauira o Te Mana Ākonga, the annual Māori Tertiary Students' Conference is hosted every year by a roopu tauira Māori on their campus.
Te Huinga Tauira is an opportunity for Māori tertiary students to discuss and debate topical issues, participate in cultural and sporting activities and to raise awareness about some of the issues that impact on Māori students at tertiary institutions and within the wider community.
“Having attended Te Huinga Tauira on other campuses, it is awesome to be able to host Huinga this year,” says Justine-Leigh Manuel, Tumuaki of Manawatahi. “We have a range of workshops, motivational speakers, kapa haka, manu korero, sports and arts throughout the four day conference and so we are excited to have every university represented as well as a number of polytechnics,” says Leigh Manuel.
“Te Huinga Tauira enables tauira Māori to come together to simply be Māori and nurture and maintain their cultural identity, and participate in activities that enhance and add value to their experiences within the context of their learning,” says acting Tumuaki of Te Mana Ākonga, Ivy Harper. “It is also an opportunity to showcase research which advances the educational success of Māori”, says Harper.
“The coming together of young Māori leaders for Te Huinga Tauira is one of the most anticipated events of the year. Te Huinga has a proud whakapapa dating back for over thirty years and is an opportunity to debate the issues affecting Māori students”, says Daniel Haines, New Zealand Union of Students’ Association (NZUSA) President.
“This year, it is also an occasion for those visiting Ratana Pā to practice and incorporate the local cultural practices of Te Ao Māori as determined by the tangata whenua", says Haines.
Te Mana Ākonga is the National Māori Tertiary Students Association who has ten affiliated roopu and continues to build on a history of others who also wanted to change the status of tauira Māori in tertiary education to support their health and well-being as they achieve academic success.
This year, Manawatahi o te Kunenga ki Purehuroa, Massey University Māori Students' Association will host Te Huinga Tauira at multiple venues between Ratana Pā and Palmerston North over the four day conference. The Conference will be held from 27-31 August 2014 and will be attended by 300 tauira.