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March 28, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Ngāi Tauira – Whānau Whakapiri!

Whānau is an important part of everybody’s life. At least it should be.

Whānau is also important to Ngāi Tauira. However Ngāi Tauira is just one of the spokes here at Victoria University of Wellington that radiates out from the central cultural hub that is Te Herenga Waka. Te Herenga Waka gives our students a safe and comfortable environment, where they can be Māori and sit within a kaupapa Māori environment. Other members of our extended whānau on campus include Te Kawa a Maui, PVC Māori office, Te Putahi Atawhai, Ngā Rangahautira, Ngā Taura Umanga and all our Māori staff. Even though we come from all parts of the country, are from different iwi and hapu, we all have one thing in common: Victoria University of Wellington. So when we talk about whānau here on campus, we encompass all our Māori students and staff.

This necessary attachment to a learning institution can have its ups and downs. The studies, the environment, the big move to the capital if you’re not a local, the nightlife, the huge bills, the weather: everything and anything comes into play. In this environment tauira can struggle, but tauira can also thrive. But so what? What’s the point of this little korero? One thing really: no matter what you’re going through there is always someone somewhere around here that understands what it’s like being Māori and studying at university.

But know that we share this feeling with other tauira around the country because our unique Māori community doesn’t just stop at this campus or university. Our community of tauira extend out of our own university, across to other institutions around the country that have Māori Student Associations.

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