Whai Whakaaro: An Indigenous Perspective on Authentic Partnerships

Dr Meegan Hall

Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Mātauranga Māori), Victoria University of Wellington


In New Zealand, 15 per cent of all Māori people over the age of 15 years are working towards a tertiary qualification, the highest participation rate for any ethnic group in New Zealand. This year’s ANZSSA Conference theme encourages us to form authentic partnerships with our students. The call is backed by compelling research that tells us working in partnership promotes better engagement and awareness for both students and staff. Ultimately, the research says, this leads to improved learning and teaching experiences. So, what does it mean for a partnership with Māori students to be ‘authentic’? As someone who has worked to increase Indigenous university graduates in New Zealand over the last 25 years, I will explore the notion of authentic partnerships with Māori students from a Māori perspective. I will ‘whai whakaaro’ (follow the thought), drawing examples from both ancient Māori houses of learning and modern day Māori experiences, and apply them within the context of student support.


The Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Inc. (ANZSSA) is a professional association for people with an interest in the role of support services in post secondary education. We are focused on: The quality of the student experience Supporting and empowering students to achieve their educational and life goals Enhancing student wellbeing and development Improving student success and persistence Providing outreach to students at-risk Raising institutional student retention rates For more information, please visit the ANZSSA website at anzssa.com.

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.

Photo Credits: Visit Victoria