Invitation to attend a Pōwhiri or Mihi Whakatau

When: 8.30am on your first morning at BTI (This will vary between programmes – please refer to ​Dates)

Where: BTI – please come to reception when you arrive to sign in. You will then be taken up to Room 2101 where an educator will give everyone a quick outline on what to expect. This will also provide an opportunity to practice the waiata (song) together.

Dress Code: Black or darker colours, respectful, modest (including modest neckline and covered shoulders), tidy and formal. We would prefer men to wear long pants, and women to wear knee-length or longer skirt/dress.

If you are our kaikōrero (speaker – male), long pants and shirt with a collar (tie not necessary), covered shoes.

Why do we welcome you with a pōwhiri or mihi whakatau?

​​BTI has since its beginnings (over 20 years) understood its relationship with the indigenous people (tangata whenua) of the area of Bethlehem in Tauranga city. This relationship has grown and developed over the years.

One of the ways that we show our respect is in using traditional Māori protocols of welcome to our students. This means that what has become ‘normal’ for us as BTI staff is to offer each new group of students a mihi whakatau (official welcome) to the BTI campus.

​For Māori, there is a ritualised process of saying hello and getting to know people. We respect this at BTI and have found it offers a very rich real experience that fits with many of our own ‘cultural’ norms. ​

​You will learn in detail over the course of your studies the background and theory of this practice and you will have a number of opportunities to participate in it.

What happens?

If you are not familiar with the Te Aroha waiata, please take the time to listen to the recording. A printed copy of the words will be available on the day if you require them.

After the speeches and prayers you will be invited to hongi (press noses) with our hosts.

Morning Tea
The morning tea that is then offered to you concludes the ceremony of welcome. From the BTI point of view you are now part of the place!

This process is scheduled to take about 45 minutes, excluding morning tea time.

Students with educator on campus

Waiata - Te Aroha

Te aroha
Te whakapono
Me te rangimarie
Tātou, tātou e 

Meaning: Love, faith and peace for us all

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