On your first day, there will be a pōwhiri to formally welcome you to our WITT Te Pūkenga whānau.

New Plymouth Campus

9:30am - Nursing Health & Wellbeing, and Māori Enterprise, Business & Technology

11:00am - Trade Training, Primary & Creative Industries, and Engineering, Energy & Infrastructure

South Taranaki Campus

The next pōwhiri for South Taranaki will be in March 2024

Pōwhiri process

When you come to WITT for the first time, you will be welcomed to the WITT whānau with a pōwhiri. If this is your first pōwhiri, you may be wondering how this welcoming ceremony works. Below is a short guide to help you understand and make the most of this experience.

Karanga (call out, summon)

Before the pōwhiri begins, guests and/or new students will gather out the front of Te Piere o Te Rangi - WITT's whare (meeting house). Some of our female staff (your hosts) will perform a karanga which indicates to you (manuhiri) that it’s time to begin.


Women approach first and the men follow until just in front of the whare (meeting house/room). The men then go in front and enter the whare first. Traditionally this was to ensure the safety of the women.

Once inside the whare

You will be greeted with a hongi (traditional greeting) from the host group (tangata whenua). To hongi you touch noses and foreheads. This symbolises a sharing of breath, thoughts and emotions. You will then be directed to take a seat or stand, males sit in the front rows and females behind. This again ensures the safety of the women.

Whaikōrero (speeches)

Once everyone is seated the whaikōrero (formal speeches) will start. There is a pāeke (order of speaking) that is Taranaki protocol. Members of the tangata whenua (hosts) speak first then the manuhiri (visitors) respond in turn.

Kai (food)

Once the whaikōrero has come to a close the tangata whenua invite you to share kai (food). A karakia (prayer) is said to bless the food first before eating.

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