Otago Polytechnic

Certificate in Mata ā Ao Māori (Level 4)



Up to three years part-time

On campus; workshops, discussions and an overnight stay at a local papatipu marae

  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    26 February 2018
Keen to increase your understanding and proficiency in aspects of te reo Māori?

This recognised tertiary qualification is ideal if your professional demands require an increased proficiency in Māori knowledge and awareness. Develop competency in basic te reo Māori, an awareness of practices, protocols and behaviours - tikaka, kawa and whakaaro - and an understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, including the articles and principles, and be able to action these in the workplace.

In a non-confrontational, supportive and collaborative environment, participate in a series of workshops, discussions and an overnight stay at a marae, and embrace the opportunity to pursue an individual course of study which will focus on an in-depth investigation of a particular aspect of things Māori. Consisting of six separate units, which may be studied separately but which collectively make up a coherent and complete programme, each course is designed to be a small, manageable piece of learning that can be realistically integrated into a busy schedule.

Please note: All certificate and diploma qualifications are currently being reviewed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Qualification titles and content may be altered as a result of the review but any changes will be introduced and communicated over a transitional period so that there is minimal impact on students. 

Skills required
  • An enjoyment of working with others
  • An interest in the world around you
  • Motivation, commitment and a good work ethic.
Entry requirements

Open entry.

Additional documentation

You must supply certified copies of curriculum vitae, proof of identity and proof of residency (where appropriate).

Selection procedure

All applicants who meet the entry criteria will be accepted. If the number of applications exceeds the number of spaces available, applicants will be placed on a waiting list in the order that they applied.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs associated with this programme.

Further study options

Continue learning by applying for undergraduate programmes at other New Zealand institutions.

You will study

Capable NZ supports individual development through the provision of professional development services/activities, and you will benefit from the support and guidance of highly-experienced staff. The Certificate consists of six courses which build on each other and interweave, each one enriching and enhancing the knowledge of the others.

Your workload

The number of hours you will be expected to contribute will vary from course to course. Please contact Capable NZ for more details.

Qualification structure







Introduction to Te Tiriti O Waitangi

Experience an environment in which you can explore Te Tiriti O Waitangi and its implications in a non-confrontational, participatory process. This learning framework enables you to understand the historical context of the Treaty as well as the contemporary debate and its relevance. The context reflects the outcomes of unit standard 7926, while retaining a focus on Kai Tahu as mana whenua and developing appropriate professional relationships with them. This workshop is intended to be a key aspect of the programme's foundation.



Two day workshops


Introduction to Te Reo and Tikaka Māori

Develop your knowledge of te Reo me ōna tikaka as it relates to mihimihi. Gain a clear understanding of tikaka, kawa and Kai Tahu Reo. The content reflects unit standard 7269.



Second semester


After the Treaty - what then?

Work with a critical focus on the application of the principles and articles of the Treaty of Waitangi to your own work and workplace. The focus will be on broad "human service" orientation, including many occupations and professions where the delivery of an appropriate service must include both formal and practice standards that relate to the articles of the Treaty of Waitangi and professional relationships with Kai Tahu as mana whenua. This course will be held at a local papatipu marae in conjunction with the wānaka course (overnight stay at the marae). The learning reflects unit standard 27109.  



Two day workshop

Second semester 


Select at least one of the following:




Te Reo and Tikaka Māori for ceremonial use

Gain a good understanding of te Reo me ōna tikaka as these are related to ceremonies. Develop your knowledge of tikaka, kawa and Kai Tahu Reo. The content reflects unit standard 27107.




Second semester



Select to make a total of 40 credits:





Enjoy a guided and well supported overnight wānaka for learners (this means staying at a local papatipu marae). This course will be in conjunction with 'After the Treaty - what then?" The content reflects unit standard 7954.



Overnight at marae

Second semster 

Natural world ko te Tai Ao

Develop an understanding of the different views Māori and non-Māori have in relation to the natural world. The different ways they interact with it will be explored through an examination of Māori understandings of landscape and seascape. The content reflects unit standard and 16078. 



Second semester


Special Topic

Pursue an individual course of study which will focus on an in-depth investigation on a particular aspect of things Māori.



As required


Student loans/allowances

Full-time, domestic students of this programme are eligible for student loans and allowances (dependent on age and financial circumstances). Please contact Studylink for additional information. Phone: 0800 88 99 00 or visit the Studylink website.

Recognition of prior learning

If you have extensive knowledge and skills due to practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification.

Student comment

"Participation in this programme provided me with an opportunity to reflect on a wide range of issues in relation to Māori, starting with the impact of colonisation and Te Tiriti o Waitangi but also considering what this means for me both personally and professionally. I thoroughly enjoyed the other courses in this programme, in particular the Natural World and also the opportunity to stay at a local marae which was a wonderful experience. Completion of this programme has been the beginning of a new journey for me and has provided me with greater insight into matters of concern to Māori."


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.

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