The Māui Mua project investigated the experiences of six tauira Māori graduates who were the first in their whānau to enter tertiary education. Successful graduates of the Bachelor of Māori Language and Indigenous Studies at Te Puna Wānaka at Ara Institute of Canterbury Ltd (Ara) were interviewed about their learning experience, from their first day through to graduating, and commented on their motivation to study, their times of struggle and pressure, and their supports and strategies to overcome barriers to successfully complete their qualification. The learning experiences of tauira Māori were analysed using a framework informed by the Māui narrative. An outcome of this analysis was a better understanding of key factors that influence the learning journey at Ara for tauira Māori. In addition, the findings of this study informed the Māui Te Tauira pastoral support and mentoring programme and teaching practice at Ara, and guided programme design and delivery to support Māori achievement.