SIT strengthens Māori community ties

Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) has signed a formal collaboration agreement with Murihiku Regeneration, with the goal of making stronger connections with its Māori community in Southland.

The collaboration agreement is the culmination of a series of discussions over the past twelve months between SIT Management, led by Dr Keri Milne-Ihimaera, SIT’s General Manager of Māori Development and Murihiku Regeneration Upoko | leadership, Michael Skerrett.

SIT and Murihiku Regeneration have agreed to work collaboratively to plan, design and implement programmes to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes, focusing on the following three areas;

To explore Secondary Tertiary Partnership opportunities to ensure a smoother transition for Māori youth into SIT programmes

To assist SIT to link with the four papatipu rūnanga | ancestral land guardians, to work collaboratively to include more local Māori knowledge in SIT programmes and delivery

To align programmes to local industry need and innovation, in order to develop effective learner pathways.

Dr Milne-Ihimaera said SIT is keen to develop stronger relationships with its Māori community and the agreement is one way of demonstrating that commitment.

Established to work closely and collaboratively with the crown, and be a voice in the Treaty partnership, Murihiku Regeneration’s function is “to ensure a clear, coherent plan for a prosperous Southland”. Improved educational outcomes for Māori in southern communities endorses that vision.

SIT Chief Executive Onno Mulder, is ‘delighted’ with the collaboration.

“We look forward to working together to improve Māori participation in vocational education at SIT, as well as improving learning experiences and course completion rates. Currently, 14% of SIT total learners identify as being Māori,” he said.

The collaboration will also help drive a greater involvement of local Māori knowledge in SIT programme development and delivery. “Progress to date, has been the creation of the Māori Development GM position, the signing of this agreement, and the employment of key staff to focus on the outcomes of the agreement,” he added.

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