Student support highlighted at 2014 Māori and Pacific Welcome

27 February 2014
Student support highlighted at 2014 Māori and Pacific Welcome

“The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

This quote epitomised the way Sir James Wattie, founder of Wattie’s Foods, felt about success. The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, echoed these words as he addressed the hundreds of incoming Māori and Pacific students, as well as their whānau, families and supporters, at this year’s Māori and Pacific Welcome.

The annual event is organised by the Equity Office – Te Ara Tautika.

Professor McCutcheon spoke of his own role, and that of the University’s staff role, in supporting students through their University experience and helping to ensure their academic success. He noted the wide range of services and resources available, from student equity advisers to social clubs, cultural activities, public lectures and sports events. He said they all offer opportunities for students, and their whānau and families, to become part of the University’s diverse community.

“Our job is to help you succeed,” said Professor McCutcheon. “I hope your affiliation to and affection for the University is life-long. I want you and your whānau and families to feel part of this family long after you graduate.”

Professor McCutcheon paid special tribute to those students who, like him, are the first in their families to attend university. He recalled his own experience “rocking up to university convinced that there would be a whole lot of kids there smarter than me”. He quickly realised first-generation University-attendees are “just as smart, and they are highly motivated to succeed”.

For Pacific Student Equity Adviser Seiuli Terri Leo-Mauu, who organised the event, this year’s Welcome was particularly rewarding.

“The jump in numbers shows how valuable this event is for our Māori and Pacific students and for their extended community, many of whom walk alongside the students throughout their University years.”


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