Pōwhiri welcomes Vice-Chancellor to Waipapa Marae
5 August 2020
The final piece of the welcoming of Professor Dawn Freshwater Vice-Chancellor, Ihorangi, to her new home at the University of Auckland took place last week with an official welcome onto Waipapa Marae by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.
Professor Freshwater was joined by guests, including partner Gary Jeneson, Vice-Chancellor Cheryl de la Rey University of Canterbury, Vice-Chancellor Harlene Haye University of Otago, and Chris Whelan Executive Director of Universities NZ.
The University’s kaikaranga, Whaea Rangimarie Rawiri, welcomed and guided the visitors through the ceremony, which was opened with a powerful haka pōwhiri by Ngā Tauira Māori, the Māori Students’ Association. The whaikōrero was led by Taiaha Hawke, cultural adviser for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Poutaki and University Kaiarataki Michael Steedman from the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori. University Councillor Matua John Paitai responded on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor’s party.
Following the whakawhitinga, which saw Professor Freshwater (now officially part of this community) take her place on the ‘host’ side of the marae, pounamu were gifted.
Under my tenure I want to see greater success
for Māori students and staff, more research being done that benefits Māori communities, and of course greater integration of Te Reo Māori into our everyday lives.
Professor Freshwater said that her first few months didn’t go quite to plan – she had to self-isolate after arriving from Australia and then went straight into lockdown – so she is still learning about Māori language and tikanga. But she knew that understanding and being involved in the Māori community would be a crucial part of her role at the University of Auckland.
“The University’s relationship with Māori – staff and students, our local and national communities, people who make decisions and influence decision makers, and of course as kaitiaki of Aotearoa – is one of the most important and we must get it right.
“This means genuinely listening to Māori to ensure that when we say we want to benefit Māori and the University through partnerships that acknowledge the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, we walk the talk.
“Under my tenure I want to see greater success for Māori students and staff, more research being done that benefits Māori communities, and of course greater integration of Te Reo Māori into our everyday lives.
"Ki te hoe!"
- Ihorangi – Vice-Chancellor
- Kaikaranga – caller
- Whaikōrero – speech making
- Whakawhitinga – crossing over
- Tikanga – customs
- Kaitiaki – guardian
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi – Treaty of Waitangi
- Ki te hoe! – get ready to go!
Lisa Finucane | Media and Communications Manager
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