Make your mark

International students in New Zealand were heavily impacted by the pandemic. Being away from family and dealing with lockdowns, isolation and closed borders had been stressful and unsettling for all within this community.

We partnered with Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao and with their intrinsic values of inclusiveness, kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga we developed Tū Ngātahi — Stand Together. A kaupapa to assure international students that they are valued and supported members of our community in Aotearoa.

At the heart of Tū Ngātahi is a physical pounamu, the central motif of the initiative and a physical acknowledgement of the warm bond between Aotearoa and the many cultures who come here to learn. The pounamu pin is a gift from Aotearoa to our international students.

At every stage we collaborated with the right partners to ensure the values of Te Ao Māori were central in everything we did.

Ed Tuari, ENZ’s Senior Advisor/Kaitohu Matua Māori, supported our naming process, developing Tū Ngātahi in consultation with Māori language proponent and translator Te Haumihiata Mason. Ed also consulted on our use of symbol, resulting in the use of the Pikorua pounamu design as our motif.

The pounamu was carved by Ngāi Tahu-registered carver Dean Taylor and Ed facilitated this partnership and joined us to film the pounamu being crafted.

To date, 20,000+ pins have been shared across Aotearoa and abroad.