Certificate in Bicultural Competency (Level 4)


Online learning with face-to-face workshops in Dunedin

Two years, part-time
Various intakes
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    12 May 2021
  • Distance
    1 October 2021
  • Distance
    12 April 2021
  • Distance
    1 August 2021
  • Dunedin
    3 November 2021
  • Dunedin
    12 April 2021
  • Dunedin
    21 June 2021
  • Dunedin
    7 July 2021
  • Dunedin
    14 September 2021
  • Dunedin
    15 March 2021
  • Dunedin
    12 April 2021
  • Dunedin
    17 May 2021

Develop a practical knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori as appropriate within the workplace, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) and its socio-political impact within iwi and location-specific contexts in Aotearoa. 

You will also develop your understanding of your own position in a bi-cultural New Zealand context by building a base upon which to develop your cultural competency skills. 

During this certificate, you will identify te reo words and phrases that are both relevant and applicable to your workplace context. Likewise, the tikanga content will rely on you showing an understanding and an active application of tikanga concepts and practices as they relate to particular workplace and industry contexts. The Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi content will rely on you showing a working understanding of the historical aspect of Te Tiriti/the Treaty and its contemporary impact on socio-political-economic factors in the iwi/hapu takiwā that you live and/or work in. 

Delivered through the principles of Wānanga and Ako, you will be encouraged to explore differing views and reflect on your own beliefs and values, whilst recognising the validity of views other than your own. Otago Polytechnic’s Memorandum of Understanding with Kāi Tahu and Ngāi Māori will ensure that learners benefit from the input of local iwi knowledge in all aspects from content and delivery to assessment and moderation. 

This certificate is intended for individuals who are working in any public or private entity that states that it is a responsive Treaty partner. Cultural competency has been identified as a key factor in developing organisational effectiveness; it is also an important global transferable skill. The learning and knowledge you therefore gain during this certificate will enhance your employment opportunities both within Aotearoa and internationally. 

Entry requirements 
  • Open entry. 
  • All applicants must have a level of English sufficient to be able to study at this level. 
  • International students should have an overall academic IELTS of at least 5.5 with no individual band score lower than 5.0 (achieved in one test completed in the last two years).  
Selection criteria 

If the number of applicants exceed the available places, a waitlist will be used to ensure preference is given to applicants in order of application. 

Course descriptions 
Te Reo Māori for the Workplace (5 credits)

Learning outcomes 

  • Accurately pronounce introductions, greetings and farewells relevant to the workplace 
  • Use basic Te Reo Māori in workplace correspondence 
  • Use Te Reo Māori relevant to your industry or profession

Indicative content 

  • Identify and practise Te Reo Māori use and pronunciation of:
    • 40 words 
    • 10 phrases 
    • Greetings and farewells 
    • Pepeha/Mihimihi for a workplace setting
Tikanga Māori in the Organisation (5 credits)

Learning outcomes 

  • Describe a range of tikanga Māori and their importance in Te Ao Māori 
  • Describe how a range of tikanga Māori influences your own behaviour and practice in every day situations 
  • Explain how tikanga Māori is applied in your own organisation  

Indicative content 

  • Identify, describe and discuss the importance of six tikanga Māori concepts, providing references (APA) where appropriate 
  • Describe how at least four concepts relate to your own behaviours and practices in every day situations 
  • Explain how at least four of these tikanga are displayed formally and informally within your organisation
Introduction to Te Tiriti o Waitangi (10 credits)

Learning outcomes 

  • Describe the historical context that led to the development of the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi
  • Discuss the relationship between the articles and principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi
  • Identify and discuss legislation from New Zealand’s colonial history that were not in keeping with the promises guaranteed in Te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi
  • Discuss the contemporary effects of colonisation on Iwi Māori in own region 

Indicative content 

  • Pre-Treaty - The New Zealand historical context
  • Pre-Treaty - The Māori context
  • The Treaty – Issues leading up to and surrounding its signing
  • Linguistic differences in Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Treaty of Waitangi (translation issues)
  • The respective responsibilities of the Treaty partners
  • Intent of the 3 articles
  • Relationship between the principles of partnership, protection, participation
  • Post Treaty context and colonisation. Legislation that contravened the Treaty and its impact
  • Kai Tahu contemporary Treaty issues
  • Application of contemporary issues to learner’s own professional and occupational practice
  • Appraising and referencing sources
Bi-cultural Competency (10 credits)

Learning outcomes

  • Articulate elements of your own cultural construct
  • Discuss the “Treaty Partner’s” perspective with reference to language, custom and history
  • Identify similarities and differences between your own cultural construct and the “Treaty Partner’s” with reference to language, custom and history

Indicative content 

  • How do we define ourselves? / Defining ourselves in terms of culture
  • Discussion of beliefs, festivities and celebrations and reflection on possible cultural influence
  • Cultural constructs
  • Theories: e.g. Field Theory, Said, Derrida, Bourdieu
  • Analysing how culture impacts experience
  • Importance of narratives – sharing stories (workshop)
  • Confronting inevitable yet unaware cultural bias and how to receive feedback on it
  • Recognising the importance of group membership in historical and contemporary discussions of bi-culturalism
  • Changing focus in cultural conversations from who is disadvantaged to who is privileged and why
  • Addressing the barriers to reflection and engagement with discussions on bi-culturalism
Your workload 

All study is highly-structured, guided and self-directed and you will need to have good time management skills. As a part-time student, you should typically aim for around 15 hours of study per week. 

Student loans and allowances 

As this certificate is delivered part-time, learners are not eligible for student loans and allowances. 

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