Mayor Hamish McDouall will be one of around 300 tauira, or students, graduating from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa today.

Most of the students have completed one of the popular te reo Māori courses, although others have completed courses ranging from Level Two Forestry to the Level Five Te Rōnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi programme.

McDouall, who completed the Level Two Te Ara Reo Maori course, said it's great to see people from all walks of life take on all sorts of courses at the Wānanga.

"It's just my first year but it was a great year, I really enjoyed it,"


"It's been a fantastic journey learning te reo, I've got a long way to go but I find myself understanding more and more kōrero at pōwhiri and that's really exciting" McDouall said.

The mayor said he decided to take this year off from studying as it's an election year, but intends to continue his te reo learning in the future.

McDouall said a standout part of the course was the noho marae experience, where students stayed at Kaiwhaiki Marae.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa regional manager for tauira recruitment Candice Pomare said the graduation ceremony is an important part in the learning process, where friends and family can come together to celebrate their loved one's success.

"Our tauira have worked hard to achieve success in whatever field they have chosen to study in. For some, success could be as simple as saying hello in te reo Māori, for others, it could be enhancing their professional qualifications, learning new skills in an area of interest or taking the first steps to establish their own business."

The graduation ceremony takes place at the Whanganui War Memorial Centre from 6pm.