Inaugural MPTT awards held at Rehua Marae hailed a success
13 November, 2023
Much to celebrate in Māori and Pacific Trades Training in 2023
There was an air of celebration firmly wrapped in history when the 2023 Māori and Pacific Trades Training Scheme ākonga gathered for their first-ever awards event last week.
Organised by Student Support services, the awards were held at Rehua Marae, which only a fortnight ago had welcomed members of the Māori Trades Training from the 1970s for a special weekend of reconnection and fond remembering.
The awards gathering was described as positive and affirming, with ākonga moved by their tutors’ recognition of their effort and achievements in 2023.
It was the first time those involved in the kaupapa, from the departments of Trades (Te Hoe Rehe), Humanities (Te Hoe Aronui), Applied Science and Social Practice (Te Hoe Ora ki Te Kei) as well as Hospitality, Business and Service Industries (Te Hoe Manaaki Tangata), had gathered to honour the mahi and milestones of their ākonga in this way.
Sixteen ākonga who had given extra in terms of the Te Pūkenga values of Manawa ora, Manawa nui and Manawa roa, as chosen by their tutors, were also recognised.
“These awards weren’t about academic excellence necessarily,” Student Support Team Leader - Māori and Pacific, Ariana Letiu said. “It was an opportunity to recognise the unwavering commitment of the ākonga, the resilience they’d shown to get through their study, and to celebrate support shown for their peers in the classroom or the way they give back to their communities.”
“It was very special to take a moment to recognise these core Te Pūkenga values being lived by our valued ākonga. For many it was an emotional moment being acknowledged by their tutors in this way,” Letiu added.
Excellence and academic achievement in their studies were also part of the celebration for the almost 200 ākonga connected with the programme this year. It was the first time four major awards were made for a top ākonga in trades and the top academic achiever among the Māori and Pacific MPTT cohort.
Head of Trades Peter Sauer, Director of Māori Achievement Tate Tiatia, He Toki Project Manager Ariana Te Whetu, Ixzavior Hodges
Head of Trades Peter Sauer, Director of Māori Achievement Tate Tiatia, He Toki project manager Tokona Te Raki Ōtautahi Ariana Te Whetu, Leeah Powell and proud tamariki.
He Toki Tradie of the year went to Ixzavior Hodges (studying NZ Certificate in Carpentry) while the He Toki Academic Award was awarded to Leeah Powell (awarded NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation and now enrolled in Bachelor of Nursing).
The Pacific Tradie of the year went to Iana Vaafuti (studying NZ Certificate in Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying) and the top Pacific Academic prize was awarded to Asena Tokalaulevu (awarded NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation now studying Pre Health).
Head of Trades Peter Sauer, Director of Pacific Achievement Sua Tauti, Rev Fitifiti Luatua, Iana Vaafuti.
Head of Trades Peter Sauer, Director of Pacific Achievement Sua Tauti, Asena Tokalaulevu, Rev Fitifiti Luatua.
Student speakers on the day, Rhys McKay and Rusiate Vatuniqere, shared their own experiences as to how they valued the kaupapa of MPTT and how the connection had supported them through their study journey.
Director of Māori Achievement Tate Tiatia said returning to Rehua to celebrate the 2023 MPTT ākonga was meaningful for the current thriving MPTT programme.
“With its proud tradition of Māori Trades Training, Rehua Marae is the appropriate setting for celebration, connecting generations through purpose and whakapapa. I’m thrilled with the event and our Kaumātua in attendance told us they were exceptionally proud of the way we whakamana (honour) our ākonga.”
Director of Pacific Achievement Sua Tauti said taking a moment to celebrate success and the values success is built on was extremely special and an occasion he was looking forward to repeating in the years to come.