Our Māori name, Waipapa Taumata Rau

In 2021, the University of Auckland was gifted a new Māori name by the people of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei in an official gifting ceremony.

Waipapa Taumata Rau represents our ongoing partnership with iwi and champions building respect for Māori knowledge. It challenges us to understand that we are part of a whakapapa of historic and current relationships.

Waipapa Taumata Rau replaces the former more literal translation used in the University’s name – Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau.

Evolving the University's identity to reflect Waipapa Taumata Rau is under way. We are on a journey to create an identity that connects with our diverse student, staff, alumni and whānau audiences, while reflecting our unique place in the world.

Dawn ceremony 2021 for Waipapa Taumata Rau

In a dawn ceremony on Monday 26 July 2021, the people of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and the University of Auckland joined together on Waipapa Marae to unveil the new Māori name for the University – Waipapa Taumata Rau – and put to rest Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau.

The meaning behind Waipapa Taumata Rau


This locates us in Auckland, the nearby shoreline from which the University takes its name.

It is the great landing place of waka. It is an important destination marking arrival and beginning and reflects new connections between people, but also an exchange of knowledge and teaching.


Taumata is an exhortation to excellence and achievement. It uncovers those attributes we need to succeed through hard work, aspiration and support. Taumata, in this case, are the many peaks or points of ascension – the pinnacles of sacred spaces where the land meets the sky, places of challenge, achievement and revelation.


Means many or one hundred. The University and its community are made up of many peaks and so there are many journeys.