Supporting Māori and Pasifika future engineers to transform our world

He kōtuku rerenga tahi (a white heron flies once)! We’re excited to announce our official partnership with the South Pacific Indigenous Engineering Students (SPIES) association at the University of Auckland.

Founded in 1993, the student-led association aims to support the academic, social and cultural toiora (well-being) of engineering students of Māori and Pacific Island descent.

The partnership was officially recognised and celebrated on 7 March at Beca House in Auckland, with the SPIES Executive team, our Northern Regional Manager Rupert Hodson, SPIES alumni within Beca, and representatives from our People and Culture team in attendance.

The partnership aligns with our commitment to diversity and will allow us to directly support Māori and Pasifika engineering students to achieve to their full potential. Students will receive mentoring support from some of our experienced engineers and an opportunity to gain work experience as a graduate or intern.

Rupert says the partnership will also enable our people to gain some valuable cultural insight.

“Through the work we do, we often interact with Māori and Pasifika communities. By working collaboratively with SPIES and the University of Auckland, we aim to promote Māori and Pasifika representation in the engineering profession and embrace our commitment to better reflect these communities we work with.”

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our people to get involved as mentors and make a difference in the lives of young Māori and Pasifika engineers.”

SPIES’s 200+ member cohort is increasing every year. Co-president Manuia Lameta-Brown (who also interned at Beca over summer) says more and more Māori and Pasifika students are developing an interest in pursuing a career in engineering.

“We want to invest in these students and help them in every way possible. By forging connections with the wider engineering community such as Beca, we can help these students take the first step towards building a profile for themselves.”

To find out more about SPIES, including how to join, contact spies@auckland.ac.nz.

See also 2018