Role models serve multiple functions as they influence Māori students’ goals and school aspirations. While Māori students are faced with various educational barriers, scholars contend that having a positive role model can influence their educational persistence and overall engagement at school. Therefore, it is important to consider who Māori students choose as role models and how they influence their goals and aspirations.
This article presents the findings of a research project that examined six Māori students’ perceptions of how their Māori identity impacted on their experiences in a four-year Bachelor of Physical Education (BPE) programme. The BPE programme is positioned in a faculty of education situated in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, and has an annual intake of approximately 60–70 students. On average 20% of these identify as Māori.