Cultural Support & Activities

SIT is a truly multi-cultural organisation, and we are keen to support students during their time here to ensure they are comfortable and successful in both their studies and upon graduation. 

Tauira Tautoko Māori Student Support Centre

Marcia Te Au Thomson
Tauira Tautoko Māori Support
Phone (03) 211 2699 ext 8776.

Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust in partnership with Southern Institute of Technology. Connecting students with Maori resources, study resources and whanau in the pursuit of academic achievement. 

Tauira Tautoko Student Support Centre at SIT

Nau Mai, Haere mai

Welcome to Tauira Tautoko, the student support centre based in Te Pakiaka at SIT. Tauira Tautoko provides a culturally safe social space for students to spend time with friends, safe in the knowledge that ideas, experiences and conversation can flow freely.

Student Support Centre at SIT There are many reasons to spend time at Tauira Tautoko:

  • Meeting other students in a space that is welcoming and has a great vibe
  • Enjoying a free cuppa and a chat with others
  • A place just to chill and relax between classes
  • Access to computers and other students for study support
  • Having somewhere to meet as a study group
  • Pot luck lunches and celebration of special events
  • Learning new things e.g. waiata and waka toi (maori arts)
  • Accessing community information
  • Cultural advice
  • A home away from home with fun and laughter

Monday - Thursday 9am - 4:30pm
Friday 9am - 2pm

Your friendly Kaiawhina team at Tauira Tautoko are here to help you and provide support, linking you to resources, Iwi networks and community support groups.

Wednesdays: 12:15pm-1pm - Waiata

Come learn old and new Waiata in a fun and relaxing environment - All welcome!

We also run other exciting events throughout the year such as Toastie Pie cook offs, Matariki, BBQs, Karaoke etc. Keep an eye on the SIT events page to see what's coming up.


SIT and the Maori community have enjoyed a strong relationship for many years, and have now worked together to develop a formal SIT strategy.

The main purpose of this strategy is to improve educational outcomes for Maori at SIT by ensuring that our Maori students are well prepared for further study, employment or self-employment upon their graduation.

It offers the opportunity to build on the success of existing strategies, while integrating new ideas and practices which will provide a direction for SIT in the future.


James Wilkinson is SIT's Maori Student Liaison. He is on hand to assist Maori students with course advice and study issues, help students get in touch with the local cultural communities and organise cultural events.

He can also assist if students are interested in the Te Awa Rau - Maori Student mentoring program.

Phone: 03 211 2699

Pacific Island Student Support


The Pacific Island Advisory Cultural Trust has worked with Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) to develop a SIT Pasifika Education Strategy to improve participation and educational outcomes for Pasifika at SIT.

This strategy intends to provide for and encourage student participation and achievement in a range of quality learning opportunities and services:

  • Enhance academic achievement and satisfaction of stakeholders
  • Offer a range of programmes/stair casing opportunities and flexible delivery modes which provide occupational and life skills
  • Improve the representation and achievement of under-represented and disadvantaged groups
  • Provide a range of student and staff support services


SIT has a valued relationship with the Pacific Island Advisory and Cultural Trust (PIACT).  A society for people of Pacific Island descent, their purpose is to be an integrated Pacific community on equal footing with mainstream New Zealand, while retaining their cultural integrity. They have made it their mission to promote the wellbeing, education and cultural development of people of Pacific Island ancestry now residing in Southland and to provide an official channel to represent such people in matters concerning their welfare.

PIACT welcome contact from students at SIT, their details are listed at:

The Murihiku Maori and Pasifika Cultural Trust is another organisation that may interest both Maori and Pasifika students.  Students from other cultures and backgrounds are also welcome to get involved with the various events put on by the trust.

The Murihiku Maori and Pasifika Cultural Trust formed in 2010.  They are passionate about contributing to a richer community by celebrating Maori and Pasifika cultures in Murihiku-Southland and surrounding areas.  Their commitment is:

  • To uplift and celebrate Maori and Pasifika cultures
  • To make Maori and Pasifika cultures accessible to all people
  • To provide excellent opportunities for rangatahi and their whanau


James Wilkinson is SIT's Pacific Student Liaison.  He is on hand to assist Pasifika students with course advice and study issues, help students get in touch with the local cultural communities and organise cultural events.

Phone: 03 211 2699


International Student Support and Activities