Māori and Pasifika at AIS
Maori and Pacific Islands (MPI) students has been studying at AIS from the beginning with Tourism, Hospitality and Business studies attracting the majority of our MPI students. AIS sister schools in Tonga (Tonga Institute of Higher Education) and Samoa (Martin Hautus International Learning Institute) has enabled a sustainable pathway from their diploma qualifications gaining seamless transition to our degree programmes in our four main degree programmes, the BTM, BHM, BBus and BIT over the years.
The Treaty of Waitangi core values are respected with Polynesian core values and customs. Recently the whanau room at Asquith Campus has been upgraded and located at the ground floor to facilitate more visits from MPI students as well as from other nationalities studying at AIS to enjoy the whanau room environment and cultural interactions amongst our multicultural students.
On-going cultural activities such as the Kapa Haka / Pasifika Cultural Performing Arts Group are performed by the MPI students regularly at various school functions (either within AIS or in national students’ functions and events through out New Zealand). The AIS MPI facebook is an excellent networking medium for both alumni and current students to maintain their contacts and with staff as well.
Our kaumatua Bill Tangariki and Kiua Violet and Director for Pasifika Dr Semisi Taumoepeau are always around the two campuses from time to time to help students and promote cultural understandings, cultural knowledge and aspects of the Maori and Pasifika cultures. Maori Studies, Treaty of Waitangi course, Maori and Pasifika tourism classes and outings and ‘manaakitanga’ values are features of these regular studies in AIS. At the same time the weekly po ako (evening study groups) are ongoing for MPI students to help each other in their studies and assignments. Education activities take place within a cultural context with four concepts, manaakitanga (affirm identity of each student), whanaungatanga (relationships), ako (teach and learn) and mahi tahi (teamwork), which have the power to transform the learning environment for students and supporting students' wellbeing.