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Locals is a programme run by students for students. The programme is driven by our team of volunteers, and suggestions from our first year students.


We have a team of Locals leaders who are second or third year students who were in the locals programme in their first year. These students sign up to help other students through their first year at Otago. Each leader is on one of the four committees.

Locals students group photo image


Locals has three committees that focus on different aspects of the programme: social, volunteer, and academic. Each committee has a coordinator that is responsible for that aspect of the programme – they organise events, and help manage the leaders in each committee.


The locals assistant runs the external engagement committee for the programme. The external engagement committee helps to run all marketing and communications for the programme. This committee also organises the schools outreach to promote locals to year 13 students. They also organise trainings for the co-ordinators and leaders, and help the Deputy Head of Locals to manage the rest of the locals team.

Deputy Head of Locals

The Deputy Head of Locals runs the day-to-day operations of the programme. They oversee the organisation of all locals events, manage the locals team, and provide pastoral care to first year students. The Deputy Head also does all of the administration for the programme.

Maya Pitcon

Deputy Head | Kaitiriwā
Locals programmeMaya Pitcon image

Hi! I'm Maya and I am the Deputy Head of Locals. As the Deputy Head I run the programme on a day-to-day basis and manage the locals team to make sure we are supporting our first-year students the best we can. I started off in the Locals Programme as a first year in 2013, have made my way through the ranks and now I'm the Deputy Head. I am super excited to see where I can take the programme over the next year and beyond!

I graduated in 2016 with an Honours degree in Anthropology (with a focus on Biological Anthropology and the ethics of introducing new technologies) after finishing my undergrad in Anthropology and Archaeology in 2015. I am proud to have been born and live in amazing Dunedin! As a past local student myself I understand some of the challenges you may face in your first year and am here to help you through them. I'm looking forward to meeting all of the new locals students and can't wait to get stuck into the amazing year we at Locals have planned for you!

Mob +64 21 949 653

Head of Locals

The Head of Locals works behind the scenes to keep the programme going year to year.

Stephen Scott

Head | Tumuaki
Student Success and Locals programme

StephenKia Ora, I'm Stephen and I am the Head of Student Success. I am responsible for providing academic leadership, oversight and management of matters relating to the first-year student experience at the University of Otago. I am also the Director of the Locals Programme, which means I am responsible for the academic, social and pastoral support available to first-year students living at home, flatting or boarding in their first year at the University of Otago.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Auckland, and went on to complete a Masters of Science degree at the Auckland University's Marine station before attending the University of Otago to undertake a doctoral degree (PhD). Before I started in my current job in 2016 I developed, taught and coordinated papers in Zoology where I developed a strong interest in student learning. My research interest now is in the area of student success. I was also the Associate Dean (Māori) in the Division of Sciences where I developed targeted support for Māori science students and science outreach for Māori communities.

Tel +64 3 479 8824
Mob +64 21 276 2674

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