Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi upholds and affirms Te Tiriti o Waitangi in its role as a partner with the Crown in the delivery of learning and education programmes in Aotearoa. The spirit of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is expressed by the Wānanga through encouraging its staff, students and community to grow a sense of pride in, and an identity with, the cultural heritage of the tangata whenua of Aotearoa.
In its development of the distinctive character of wānanga as defined in the 1989 Education Act, Awanuiārangi recognises the critical importance of āhuatanga and tikanga Māori in its philosophy and in its day-to-day work. Under the Act, it exercises its right and mana to determine the essence and ethos of its own special learning culture and its identity with the spirit of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Āhuatanga Māori is an integral component of the learning environment of Awanuiārangi. Cultural evidence is omnipresent in the buildings and surroundings. Strategically placed contemporary and traditional carved pieces immediately link the Whare Wānanga with the historical significance of the land it stands on, with Ngāti Awa, the tangata whenua of the area, and with the greater hinterland of the rohe of Mātaatua.
Tikanga Māori is inherent, and a natural consequence of the cultural view that Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi has of itself.