Hokinga Mauri Ceremony - a renewed partnership

Ceremony marks beginning of a renewed partnership between the Offices of the Pro Vice-Chancellors Māori, Pacific and Equity

On March 11, around 100 people filled the ClockTower Atrium to witness an important step in the University’s commitment to honouring Te Tiriti, actively supporting Māori and Pacific aspirations and achieving equity success.

The moving Hokinga Mauri ceremony marked the Pro Vice-Chancellor Equity transferring the governance, funding and administration of the University of Auckland’s Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) Funding for Māori and Pacific students to the Pro Vice Chancellors Māori and Pacific, Professor Cindy Kiro and Associate Professor Toeolesulusulu Damon Salesa. This change means that key decisions about Māori and Pacific students will be made by members of their community, with active support from the Equity Office. Organised by the Kaiarataki with support from Māori and Pacific colleagues and kaumatua Rāwiri Wharemate, the three stones represent the shared mauri now vested in mutual success around equity for Māori and Pacific students and the three PVCs.

All three Pro Vice Chancellors also acknowledged their strengthened partnership means that they have welcomed “new siblings” into each of their folds and that by working together, they will achieve far more than they could individually.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Equity, Trudie McNaughton, stressed that the handover “does not diminish our profound commitment to Māori and Pacific equity issues, quite the reverse”. In paying tribute to the Equity Office colleagues who are transferring to the PVCs Maori and Pacific, she acknowledged them as taonga. She also acknowledged the significant contribution of current and previous Equity Office staff.


Professor Cindy Kiro, Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori described the ceremony as, “symbolic but important to cementing the need for Māori leadership over work funded by TEC to benefit Māori outcomes in the University”. This is part of an ongoing recognition that Māori capability has developed and that we are in a strong position to lead the work with Pacific and Equity, to enhance all.

Pro Vice Chancellor Pacific Damon Salesa described the move as “an example of the Equity Office living their values." It also: 

provides an opportunity to “grow the potential and
ability of the University…because an institution will only reach its full
potential when our students reach their full potential”.

Pro Vice Chancellor Pacific Damon Salesa

Seraphine Williams a Samoan Masters Student and one of the Equity Office staff whose role will be transferred with the change said “today marks a change that will signal to current and future students, staff, our families, our communities and the world that the University of Auckland is a place for us all; especially for those of Māori and Pasifika ethnicities. From here, our communities will only prosper via the creation of nuanced, and collaborative, support. “O le upega e fili I le po, ‘ae tatala I le ao”: may we continue to advance ourselves, our families, our communities, our students and our nation through targeted actions that manifest into positive change for all. Ia manuia!”