Department of Computer Science

Māori and Pacific students - Tuākana

Welcome, kia ora, talofa, bula, malo e lelei, kia orana, fakalofa lahi atu

The Tuākana programme supports Māori and Pacific students. The programme offers you a friendly and culturally sensitive interface between you and the department.


Academic support

We provide dedicated Tuākana tutorials for Computer Science students. As the first hurdle for any Computer Science student is COMPSCI 101, we concentrate on this course but we're also running tutorials for COMPSCI 105/107 and are happy to assist with queries relating to other courses.


Dedicated approachable staff

We're here to help make university an enjoyable and rewarding experience. We can solve course-related problems for you, such as sorting out extensions or getting special assistance if you need to catch up, or generally open doors and offer advice. We can often help with personal problems, too.


Facebook group page


A student-managed Facebook page - group titled 'Computer Science Tuakana UoA' for discussions and comments. The admin for the page is Rachael Mincham (



If you are interested in the Department of Computer Science’s Tuākana programme please contact:


Ulrich Speidel
Tuākana liaison officer


David Welch
Tuākana liaison officer


Moana Stirling
Tuākana tutor for COMPSCI 101


Kiri Jones
Tuākana tutor for COMPSCI 230


Alexander Swain
Tuākana tutor for COMPSCI 101/105/107


Michael Steedman
Faculty of Science Kaiārahi

Lynn Su'a
Faculty of Science Māori and Pacific Pastoral Care Coordinator


Personal message from the Computer Science Tuākana Liaison Officer, Ulrich Speidel

Being a good student is often about a few key factors.

Asking questions: More often than not students tell me that they weren't meant to speak up at school. Forget school for now. This is university. The things taught at university are complex and difficult, and it's normal that students need to have things explained more than once. But this won't happen unless you ask. While it’s sometimes inconvenient for a lecturer to have to respond to questions during a lecture, they usually welcome questions afterwards. Asking questions shows your lecturer or tutor that you’re interested in what they have to say. You will not be branded as dumb or impolite—students who ask questions are the ones lecturers will remember.

Networking: As they say it isn't only what you know, but who you know. The people you sit in class with are tomorrow’s leaders, and it pays to get to know them today. Have a chat to the person sitting next to you. Form your own study groups—it makes study more fun and often more efficient. It pays to get to know your tutors and lecturers and make sure they know your face too.

Fixing problems early: Big problems start out as small ones. As a general rule, what you learn at the beginning of the semester is the foundation for what comes later. If you get behind at the start, you're likely to struggle later on. Seek help early - Tuākana tutorials are a good place to start, but don't be afraid to ask for help individually either.

Don't be shy, and make that approach. Your career and your future are worth it.


Find out more about the Tuākana Programme

Find out more about the University's approach to equity for students.