Te awe o te kaiwhakahaere: The role of Māori administrators in universities
The purpose of this thesis is to critically examine the significance of the role Māori university administrators play in the recruitment and retention of Māori students at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT University). Utilising the works of two theorists, John Te Rangianiwaniwa Rangihau and David Kember, the research addresses some of the cross-cultural issues associated with administrative roles, and how approaches to recruitment and retention could be enhanced through the application of particular interest models. A case-study approach was used which drew upon the first-hand experiences of the researcher, as a Māori university administrator. This research was framed within an Indigenous research methodology located in a Kaupapa Māori ideological framework that provided a cultural lens from which the analysis occurred.
An overview of Māori education in Aotearoa/New Zealand was undertaken which established a context in understanding the under-representation of Māori learners in the tertiary sector. As a legislative requirement, universities actively recruit Māori students. Between 2008 and 2016, the participation rates for Māori have fluctuated at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels with the latest increase in 2016 (Ministry of Education, 2017).
A mixed-method approach was used for this research. Two online surveys were conducted; the first targeted Māori university administrators about their views of the role of a Māori administrator. The second targeted Māori current and alumnus students which sought their opinion of the role of the Māori administrator at AUT University and the recruitment and retention strategies that AUT have in place for Māori students. A thematic analysis was used to identify the key findings from the surveys. In addition, an intervention model was adapted and used as the theoretical basis for the analysis.