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Pūhoro launches Nōku Te Ao

After a five-year hiatus Pūhoro is excited to be launching Nōku Te Ao, an overseas experiential learning opportunity where rangatahi Māori can explore global STEM opportunities and connect with indigenous communities.

After a five-year hiatus Pūhoro is excited to be launching Nōku Te Ao (previously known as Āmua Ao under NZQA), an overseas experiential learning opportunity where rangatahi Māori can explore global STEM opportunities and connect with indigenous communities.  

“We are delighted to be offering this opportunity to our rangatahi again. This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to open their hearts and minds to the global opportunities that exist in STEM for Māori, and for this trip our focus will be on the health sector. We know from previous trips that rangatahi who are a part of this experience go on to pursue esteemed STEM tertiary study and career paths.  They also continue to support Pūhoro as ambassadors, carving pathways for their teina coming through the programme,” said Kemp Reweti – Manahautū.

This November, 15 rangatahi will have the opportunity to attend a 10-day experience in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, USA. Silicon Valley is the global centre of technological innovation where many prestigious STEM organisations like Microsoft, Apple and Meta (Facebook) are headquartered. As part of this trip, rangatahi will connect with STEM organisations and the local indigenous people of the San Francisco, Bay Area.

“My eyes were opened to the importance and the value of indigenous knowledge. Some of the knowledge held by the indigenous people is not yet recognised by western science due to the oral nature of traditional knowledge systems, however, meeting indigenous researchers who can walk in both worlds was inspiring. 

It changed my perspective on both how I approached my studies and my perspective of the world. Through my experiences with the Keaholoa STEM Scholars, I recognised the importance of Indigenous knowledge systems. Having knowledge of both Mātauranga Māori and Western Science is a unique perspective. This helped guide my master’s research which investigated the influence Mātauranaga Māori can have on the development of prosthetics through pūrākau and whakapapa,” said Luke August – Āmua Ao Alumni (Hawai’i 2018)

This year’s trip will have a focus on health careers, health technology, and the unique impact that indigenous knowledge and skills bring to the health workforce.  We hope to further inspire rangatahi in the pursuit of eventual health careers back here in Aotearoa, New Zealand.  

“As with the wider STEM workforce, Māori are underrepresented in health careers and Pūhoro is passionate about shifting the dial on this. We can do this by exposing our rangatahi to these pathways early and ensuring they have meaningful opportunities to engage in this space.  By doing this we hope to influence and consolidate their desire to pursue a health career here at home,” Kemp said.  

Nōku Te Ao is part of a full suite of programmes Pūhoro provides to improve rangatahi Māori engagement in STEMM. These trips are designed to complement our existing programmes by providing an exciting opportunity for rangatahi who have been mentored through the Pūhoro programme, to be fully immersed in the world of STEMM and expand their line of sight through international engagement.

Applications for Nōku Te Ao open Thursday 30 May and close on Thursday 20 June. We encourage all eligible Year 13 and tertiary rangatahi to put their best foot forward and apply. There are 12 positions open for Te Urunga Tū tauira (secondary school programme) and 3 positions open for Te Urunga Pae tauira (tertiary programme).  

“The trip changed my career path by shifting my interests in STEM to a more mātauranga Māori focused approach and how to integrate indigenous knowledge into science fields for better iwi & hapū outcomes. 

My advice to rangatahi considering applying for the next trip is to be confident in yourself and go for it. This is an unforgettable experience but remember to be open to learn and engage with new things outside your comfort zone to really make the most of this opportunity,” said Zoe Hubbard – Āmua Ao Alumni (Singapore & Taiwan, 2019)

For the full eligibility criteria and to apply please visit the links below.

Te Urunga Tū (Year 13) Application.

Te Urunga Pae Application.

Visit our Nōku Te Ao webpage.

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