Unitec's marae

Whai Ake programme

This mentoring programme aims to provide a strong support system for Māori students new to tertiary education. Whai Ake is about growing Māori student leadership capability, increase first-year completions, and lift Māori student retention overall in tertiary study.

The programme offers support in three areas:

  • Academic – to provide academic support based on the individual students learning needs
  • Cultural – to provide a culturally safe environment for students. Culture and identity are at the heart of Whai Ake and students are supported to develop their cultural confidence and competence
  • Pastoral Care – to ensure students well-being is supported; to build strong peer relationships; to ensure access to all information and student services

The basic foundations of Whai Ake include whanaungatanga – a connection to each other, manaakitanga – an environment of care, and whakapapa – their family connections.

See what our former Whai Ake students said about the programme, read the Advance Story.

Teina (Mentee)

As a Mentee (Teina), you'll have the support of a mentor to guide you through your first year of academic study. Surrounded by a supportive whānau environment, journeying together towards achieving success. You’ll also get the chance to attain accredited Te Reo Māori papers.

If you are enrolled in a full-time, full-year Unitec programme, you may be eligible for the Mentee scholarship of $2000. This will be paid to you during your first year of study.

Find out more about the Teina Mentee scholarship

Tuakana (Mentor)

As a Mentor (Tuakana), you’ll guide and support a Mentee (Teina) through their first year of study. You have a chance to inspire positive change while sharpening your leadership skill. You’ll also be surrounded by a supportive whānau environment to help guide and support you in your studies.

If you are in your second or third year of undergraduate study, you may be eligible for the Mentor scholarship that offers $1,000. This is paid in instalments each term to pay for whatever you need to make study possible.

Find out more about the Tuakana Mentor scholarship


Who Jonyne Mariu-Komene
Where Building 171 (Puukenga), Mt Albert campus
Email jkomene@unitec.ac.nz

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini.
My success is not that of myself alone, but the strength of many.