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Unitec Whānau / Fanau evenings bring families to the heart of students’ experience

Unitec Māori and Pacific students will gather next week with their families to meet lecturers and hear more about Unitec and the support available for their journeys, at the Whānau and Fanau evenings at the Mt Albert and Waitākere campuses.

The evenings are an opportunity for teaching and support staff to meet first-year Māori and Pacific students and their family members. Student support teams will share the different ways that they can assist learners, and lecturers will be on hand to talk about course content and what to expect in the year ahead.
The Whānau/Fanau evenings are a part of Unitec’s strategy and aim to set-up Māori and Pacific students and their whānau/fanau for success.  Juggling home and study commitments is sometimes challenging, so these evenings have been designed to connect the student and their whānau to the many support functions available to learners at Unitec.
Falaniko Tominiko, Director of Pacific Success, said that from a Pacific perspective, these events are important because families need to know what is expected of their family members studying at Unitec.
“Outside of study, Pacific students have many other responsibilities and commitments and their families need to know that studying is also a commitment and that they must also support their family member’s need to put aside time for their studies.”
Falaniko said that family support is very important for Pacific students and so having them come onto campus to understand what is required to support their family member is vital to the student’s success.
“On the evening, the student and family will hear from speakers on what is required to be successful and they will also be shown the support services available to them. The student and their family will also have an opportunity to talk with teaching staff before having a shared meal.”
Toni Rewiri, Director of Māori Success, said she was looking forward to meeting Unitec's Māori students at the whānau evenings.
“This event provides an opportunity to meet our Māori students and their whānau; we’re able to share kōrero, and kai; and start to engage in whakawhanaungatanga (connection), so they feel a sense of belonging here at Unitec. We know that if our students feel a sense of manaaki (caring), they are more likely to be successful in completing their study. These events, along with the pōhiri (formal welcome) and wānanga show our Māori students that we care about their success.”
The Whānau / Fanau evenings will be held next week:
Tuesday 3 March, 4.00pm to 6.00pm: Mt Albert - Gold Lecture Theatre
Thursday 5 March, 4.00pm to 6.00pm: Waitākere - 510-1045 Lecture Room