Te Roopu Māori | Issue 8

E Ngā ākonga,
E ngā mana, e ngā reo,
E ngā karangarangatanga maha,
Tenā koutou katoa.

Te Mana Ākonga is the National Māori Tertiary Student Body which emerged after the protest movements in the 1970s. It is a voice for tauira Māori and student issues and is independent of both the institutions in which we study and the government. There are two central aspects to the role of Te Mana Ākonga. One is to assist local Māori Student Roopū in advocacy, enhancing support and services for Māori students on campus and keeping Roopū critically informed of all issues pertaining to Māori in general. The second aspect is lobbying for change within government. The structure is made up of two Kaiārahi (representatives) from each member Roopū or Māori student population. These Kaiārahi then attend three Hui Kaiārahi throughout the year in which they discuss issues, formulate actions, and determine the work programme of the Kaitūhono (national co-ordinator and spokesperson). Major policies and decisions are made by the Kaiārahi and are ratified at the AGM.

Te Roopū Māori is affiliated to Te Mana Ākonga and our kaiarahi representatives are Kaitiaki Putea/Tumuaki Tuarau Courtney Heke-McColgan and I. Courtney and I have just come back from the first Hui Kaiarahi in Te Whanganui a Tara. We engaged in workshops ranging from leadership, financial management of charity accounts, funding strategies in light of the legislation around the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Act 2011 (more commonly known as VSM). More workshops included media training, governance and management and discussions were based around the Independent Constitutional Working Group lead by Moana Jackson. In brief this groupís aim is to develop a model of constitution based on the Declaration of Independence, Treaty of Waitangi and Tikanga Māori.

There was also the opportunity to discuss the financial positions of the other Roopū. We as Māori students of Otago University take for granted how good we have it, with events and kai that we run being funded through the relationships that we have with both the University and OUSA. Some Roopū are very unfortunate and are unable to run any events as they receive NO income at all.

From this Hui I felt an immense need to continue to strengthen the relationships that we have formed and create more relationships within the University and in the community. If anyone has any whaakaro on this kaupapa come into the whare or email me at teroopu.maori@otago.ac.nz

Ma te wa whanau

Lisa xx
This article first appeared in Issue 8, 2012.
Posted 5:04pm Sunday 22nd April 2012 by Lisa Pohatu.