Whariki - Māori weaving.

Whakapiki Ake C.O.A.C.H
Creating Opportunities for a Career in Health

C.O.A.C.H is a 4-day wananga (Thursday to Sunday) at Waipapa Marae, University of Auckland, designed to support Year 13 rangatahi Māori in solidfying their health career goals. The programme aids in transitioning into FMHS (Faculty of Medical Health & Sciences) courses at Waipapa Taumata Rau, strengthening cultural identity and whakawhanungatanga/developing relationships with future study buddies, tuākana and familiarisation to the tertiary environment.

Students participating in Whakapiki Akes COACH Workshop for health careers


The wanānga provides rangatahi an opportunity to share and grow their cultural experiences. Our kaumātua support and guide the pōwhiri process onto Waipapa Marae. Throughout rangatahi will experience whakawhanaungatanga, tuākana/tēina, manaakitanga, aroha ki te tangata and grow in their mātauranga Māori. Whakapiki Ake ensures we meet the needs and support of the diversity of our rangatahi.


Rangatahi will gain a peek into university life and the challenges of higher education as they become a student for a day, attending lectures with the Hikitia te Ora cohort. They meet our Vision 20:20 staff (MAPAS and Hikitia te Ora) and other Senior Lecturers within FMHS. Undertake guided Halls of Residence tours, attend scholarship, NCEA, learning to learn, Credit Mapping, cultural and application to Uni workshops. Health career and tuākana panels and participate in various whakawhanaungatanga fun activities. Building a sense of belonging to the Whakapiki Ake whānau is a cornerstone of our Kaupapa.

Students inside University of Auckland Lecture theaters during a workshop in our COACH Programme
Whakapiki Ake students participating in a C.O.A.C.H Workshop for Māori tikanga.


Whakapiki Akes COACH Testimonials

“It introduced me to the importance of Māori health. I had already started to take a liking to sciences but this has only just encouraged me”. – Year 13 from William Colenso College.

“For me, I was able to step well out of my comfort zone, make strong friendships within my group I was put in as well as tauira from other groups. I’m already counting down the days until the next event!” – Year 13 from Sacred Heart Girl’s College.

“This opportunity solidified my passion for wanting to work in a health career and helping others. My favourite part of this kaupapa was whakaaro pai, the anatomy room. It was weird to see organs that I know are inside me.” – Year 13 from New Plymouth Girls’ High School.

“Its helped me know and learn where I want to go, what I want to do, what I need to do and how to get the most out of University – Year 12 from Hato Pāora