Te Piringa - our name, our mission

Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu

Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu
(23 July 1931 - 15 August 2006)

Te Piringa translates as the coming together of peoples and cultures. This name was gifted to us by the late Te Arikinui, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, the Māori Queen, when the original law school buildings were opened by Tainui tohunga using ceremonial karakia in 1990. The name symbolises a fundamental premise for creating the Law School, to give meaning to the notion of partnership in good faith, central to the Treaty of Waitangi.

Te Arikinui also gifted a tongi, or saying, of her ancestor King Pōtatau the first Māori King, as well as Te Rākau Kotahi, a traditional carved wooden paepae from the ancestral house at Waahi Pa, which now adorns our building.

Our name links our Faculty to the ancestral owners of the land upon which our Faculty is located and to the Kāhui Ariki. The tongi gifted to us is “kia mau ki te aroha, ki te ture, me te whakapono”.  The saying expresses the importance of compassion, knowledge of law, and faith. It has been used as a basis for the traditional waiata composed by tikanga expert, Matiu Dickson, for the Faculty. We seek to honour these personal and special gifts from a paramount chief by continuing to give life to our founding goals: to offer a bicultural legal education, to teach law in its context, and to prepare our students for professional careers.