Sir Stephen Tindall and John McCarthy attended the Year 13 Graduation Ceremony for rangatahi who graduated from the South Auckland STEM Academy Pūhoro programme on Saturday night.   Pūhoro was launched in 2016 and is an exciting transformative programme aimed at advancing Māori leadership and capability to deliver a world class science community. The programme works directly with secondary school students and their whānau across the country. It provides students and whānau with mentoring, tutoring, wānanga (experiential learning/field trips) within culturally appropriate settings to help them navigate career pathways into science and technology related industries.

Although Pūhoro is a skills and capability pipeline, because it is also a kaupapa Māori programme, it has a strong focus on growing Māori identity and using that to leverage success. This is a central element of the programme. As participants are developing their Māori world views alongside their technical capability, they are also developing a world view that will change and influence the environment around them. Puhoro also models Māori succeeding as Māori by ensuring older students (tuakana) offer support back to younger students in the Programme.

Over the last 5 years the Pūhoro programme has helped over 800 students through NCEA in STEM subjects and on to tertiary study. Student pass rates in NCEA have exceeded both their Maori and non-Maori peers, which is impressive, given over 70% of its students were originally studying in a non-academic stream.  Typically, around 13% of Maori students in NZ enter tertiary study from secondary school. More than two thirds of Pūhoro students transition to tertiary study, where their performances have been equally inspiring.

Pūhoro is a tremendous programme that the Tindall Foundation is proud to support. We congratulate all rangatahi who have completed this course and hope to see many more complete the programme over the coming years.