On Wednesday 20 May, the University of Waikato Council welcomed King Tuheitia and a delegation from his office onto campus. The visit was an opportunity for the King to symbolically present his appointed nominee, Richard Jefferies, to the University Council.
At the meeting, the King's spokesperson Tania Simpson, outlined the rigorous process behind selecting the King's nominee on the University Council, and confirmed Mr Jefferies as a key person for the University's engagements with the King's office. Ms Simpson also advised the University Council members that King Tuheitia looked forward to a positive and productive relationship with the University.
The visit gave Chancellor Jim Bolger, Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley and the King a chance to meet and discuss the future. Professor Quigley outlined the University's plans including making university more accessible to those from regional communities, in particular putting on a bus service from Tokoroa with other areas to be added in the future, and new scholarships for low income families.
He also spoke about the expansion of facilities at the Tauranga campus, and plans for a new marae on the Hamilton campus. Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori Professor Linda Smith spoke about the importance of the University's Kīngitanga Day, and Mr Bolger reinforced the continuing and strengthening of the University's outreach to young Māori.
The University of Waikato kaumātua, Mr Rewi Rapana, also appointed to his position on the King's nomination, took the opportunity to announce his retirement, and kaumātua Taki Turner, was confirmed by the King as the new kaumātua for the University.