Education and Social Work warmly welcomed back
12 February 2024
In a much anticipated occasion, the Faculty of Education and Social Work was formally welcomed on to City Campus with a pōwhiri at Waipapa Marae on 9 February.
When Kaiarataki, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor Māori Michael Steedman, challenged the manuhiri (visitors) at Waipapa Marae as the Faculty of Education and Social Work was welcomed back to City Campus, history came full circle.
He reminded the visitors that they were the “big brother” in the relationship with the University, as the then Auckland Teachers’ Training College was first established in 1881 in Wellesley Street, ahead of the University itself, which wasn’t opened until 1883.
Later iterations – Auckland Training College, the Auckland College of Education – eventually merged with the University of Auckland in 2004 at Epsom to become the Faculty of Education and then in 2015, the Faculty of Education and Social Work, to more accurately reflect the breadth of faculty’s teaching and research.
Faculty staff and students were warmly received by the welcoming party, which included Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori Associate Professor Te Kawehau Hoskins, Provost Professor Valerie Linton, deans of other faculties and research institutes and Poutaki Hāpai Tauira Māori Heta Gardiner, who gave a formal whaikōrero (speech).
Professor Linton noted the strong reputation of the Faculty internationally, where it occupies a top 40 position in the Times Higher Education Subject Rankings, and said she was hopeful the move would bring many more opportunities for cross-University collaboration and leadership, as well as informal chats in B201’s new atrium café, which she said is fast becoming her favourite place for a coffee.
She finished with a whakataukī (proverb) that translates to, ‘Let’s keep close together.’
Dean Professor Mark Barrow paid tribute to the large number of people who had worked on the new buildings or made it possible to leave Epsom Campus; in particular, former Vice-Chancellor, the late Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Tristram Collett, associate director of planning and development in Property Services and faculty project manager Mike Renwick, who alongside a team, facilitated the move of 260 staff and 50 doctoral students.
He said how delighted he was to see the faculty back at the centre of University life.
The manuhiri were led onto the marae by kaikaranga (callers) Dr Tauwehe Tamati (Epsom) and Dr Maia Hetaraka, the programme director of Tai Tokerau Campus. Māori medium education expert Hēmi Dale and Tai Tokerau professional teaching fellow Michael Harrison responded on behalf of the manuhiri.
Hēmi Dale also gave a humorous account of the many years this move has been in the making and also made reference to recent events at Waitangi.
After the formalities and a well-wrangled group photo, the pōwhiri ended with a generous spread in the whare kai and the faculty was officially back home.
Julianne Evans | Media adviser
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