Māori & Pacific Support

Nau mai! Afio mai! We are an education organisation that prioritises opportunities for promoting Māori and Pacific student success in all our programmes.

On this page you’ll find information on our support team and initiatives, scholarships and funding, and pastoral care services. Please get in touch, we’d love to kōrero with you.


ManaakiFono is our main forum for academic and cultural support for our Māori and Pacific students. Manaaki meaning to care and support (one of our values as an organisation); Fono meaning to meet.

This takes shape in both a support group and an online drop-in Zoom session where Māori and Pacific students can pop in and kōrero with staff about ‘what’s on top’ for you with your learning. ManaakiFono is a safe space for you to get support and guidance for your programme like assessments, academic writing, reflection writing, anything at all to help you succeed. We also enable and enhance tuakana-teina relationships as you get to meet and talk with students from other cohorts as well.

ManaakiFono is guided by a Talanoa model, which can be referred to as a conversation, a talk, an exchange of ideas or thinking, whether formal or informal. ManaakiFono is an opportunity for students to build relationships, and understanding with both fellow candidates and the teaching/support team of The Mind Lab. Rather than being lecture type sessions or webinars, the purpose of these sessions is to ‘teu le vā’, close the gaps, strengthen the relationships, build connections and provide space for conversation and collaboration.

When you sign up to learn with us, your programme team will let you know when your weekly ManaakiFono sessions are.

A student's perspective: Rāhera Kuka

Meet the team

Te Mihinga Komene
Tēnā rā koutou katoa, Ko Pirongia-te-aroaro-o-Kahu tōku taumata, Ko Waipā tōku oranga, Ko Pūrekireki-Wīwī te kainga waewae o ngōku tūpuna, Ko Waikato-Maniapoto tōku iwi, Ko Ngāti Apakura tōku hapū. Rire, rire hau, pai mārire! He Pou Ārahi taku tūranga ki The Mind Lab, ā, ko tāku he poipoi, he tautiaki i a koutou ngā ākonga Māori, ngā ākonga nō Ngā Iwi-a-Kiwa hoki kia puta ai koutou ki te kōtihitihi o ngā mahi. 'Mā te huruhuru te manu ka rere.'
Dorcas Kayes
Talofa lava, I'm Dorcas Kayes and I am a Posgraduate Director on the Master of Contemporary Education course. My role is to support all learners with a specific focus on Māori and Pasifika learners. I believe Talanoa is the foundation for us to connect in ManaakiFono sessions where we can openly discuss learning and support you in completing your learning journey with The Mind Lab.
Fuatino Peilua
Talofa Lava o lo'u igoa o Fuatino Peilua and I hail from the beautiful islands of Samoa (Saleaula, Asau, Auala & Elise Fou), Tokelau (Atafu), and Tuvalu (Funafuti). I am the National Academic Registrar and part of my role here at The Mind Lab is to offer pastoral care and support for all students, in particular our Māori and Pacific learners.
Joni Angeli-Gordon
He uri nō Ngāpuhi me Ngāti Whātua ahau. My role at The Mind Lab is Education Director - Mātauranga Māori and I contribute to programmes across the organisation with Māori and indigenous knowledge and perspectives. I supervise masters students in te reo Māori and Kaupapa Māori. I have a passion for culturally sustaining supervision models and supporting the success of Māori and Pasifika students.
Roseline Setu
Tālofa lava! O lo'u igoa o Roseline Setu ma o a'u o le Sāmoa! Currently I am a Hoe Ākau working in the MTEL programme, and in particular working closely with our Māori & Pasefika participants, but not limited to! I am always keen & readily available to connect and support you through the means of talanoa in person or in our safe virtual space of Fola le Fala. O le tele o lima e māmā ai se avega – many hands make light work!
Talita Hope
Taloha ni, Talofa koutou my name is Talita Hope and I come from the beautiful islands of Tuvalu - (Funafuti, Nukulaelae) and Tokelau (Fakaofo, Atafu). I am the National Portal Assistant and my role is to ensure that you can navigate our portal confidently and for any pastoral and support that is needed. Ke manuia akoakoga.
Kellianne Apted
Ni sa bula vinaka! My name is Kellianne Apted and my family hails from Fiji. I am a Programme Coordinator here at The Mind Lab where I work closely with the Academic and Student Experience teams to support your success from enrolment to graduation. My role is to help you connect with our organisation so we can work together towards creating safe and inclusive learning spaces for our Pasifika communities. Vinaka vaka levu!


Tangata Whenua Scholarship

This scholarship is designed for learners who identify as Māori.

This scholarships covers 100% of the fees for one of our postgraduate programmes or micro-credentials and will be given on a first in first served basis to those who meet the criteria.

Programmes this scholarship can be used for:

You can apply for the scholarship as part of your enrolment for your chosen programme. 

Pacific Ako Scholarship

This scholarship is designed for those who identify as Pacific learners.

This scholarships covers 100% of the fees for one of our postgraduate programmes or micro-credentials and will be given on a first in first served basis to those who meet the criteria.

Programmes this scholarship can be used for:

You can apply for the scholarship as part of your enrolment for your chosen programme. 

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Scholarship

This scholarship is for Māori students who are a registered member of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and would like to study towards their Postgraduate Certificate in Leading Change for Good.

We have partnered with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to offer two scholarships for each intake of our programme.

The scholarship covers the full fees for the entire programme. Learn more here.

You can apply for the scholarship by getting in touch with us, via email, once you have enrolled in the programme.

Submitting assignments in Te Reo Māori

We fully support and encourage the use of te reo Māori throughout our organisation.

You are able to submit any of your work in te reo Māori, or in both English and Māori, for any of our programmes. When submitting your work through the portal, just check ‘Yes’ to ‘This assignment is in Te Reo’. If you need any assistance to do so, please email or send a message via Slack to Te Mihinga (you will be given access to Slack when you begin your programme).


Keen to kōrero?

If you’re interested in talking to one of our team about our Māori or Pacific support… or anything else
relating to what we do at The Mind Lab, please get in touch.