University puts te reo and Kīngitanga at the forefront

18 September 2019

Kiingitanga Day 2019
Visitors were welcome on campus at this year’s Kīngitanga Day.

Māori markets, a three-course meal served in te reo, and a keynote speech by Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon were on the cards last week as the University of Waikato celebrated Kīngitanga Day and Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

Kīngitanga Day, an annual event that recognises the University’s unique connection with the Kīngitanga and Waikato-Tainui, was celebrated across both Hamilton and Tauranga campuses and saw the convergence of key cultural influencers on university grounds.

Under the theme Kotahitanga – Unity, Kīngitanga Day provided a platform to unite cultures across both campuses and the wider community.

“The University of Waikato is unique in that we are the only University to have a Māori name,” says Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori.

“Our name acknowledges the tribal land on which the University’s Hamilton campus is located, as well as the wider Waikato region.

“Part of Kīngitanga Day this year was to not only acknowledge our cultural distinctiveness, but to embrace and share our culture, and all other cultures who share the campus with us.”

The event started with a pōwhiri and karakia, followed by an opening address by Dr Tiakiwai and a keynote speech from Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon.

Throughout the day attendees were treated to various activities, from cultural boat tours on the Waikato River and bus tours in Tauranga, to market stalls and hangi.

Kiingitanga Day 2019
(L-R) University Kaumātua Taki Turner, Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley, Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai, and Professor Pou Temara.

Guest lectures were also hosted by researcher and The Non Plastic Māori blogger Tina Ngata, as well as writer and historian Dr Vincent O’Malley.

In conjunction with Kīngitanga Day, activities ran throughout the week on campus as part of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

Dr Tiakiwai says the fact Kīngitanga Day fell within Te Wiki o te Reo Māori was fitting since the University has played a key role in the revitalisation of te reo for a number of years.

“Te Mata o te Arero was the name given to our Te Wiki o te Reo Māori programme of activities this year,” says Dr Tiakiwai.

“This name was gifted by Professor Pou Temara and it’s a name that pays homage to the contribution of former Professor, Te Wharehuia Milroy, who played a crucial role in the survival of te reo Māori not only on campus but throughout Aotearoa.”

Like Kīngitanga Day, events ran across both Hamilton and Tauranga campuses for the week, including games in te reo, cultural narrative tours of the Tauranga campus, and a Māori themed menu created and served in te reo by MasterChef New Zealand winners Kasey and Karena Te Awa Bird.

Latest stories

Related stories

New research puts Pacific climate crisis on the agenda for tangata whenua

New research by the University of Waikato has started important conversations with tangata whenua around…

Designing an inclusive citizenship model guided by Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Rapidly growing ethnic communities are projected to be about 30% of the population of Aotearoa…

Behind 200-year old Te Rā: the last Māori sail

After 200 years in residence in a British Museum storeroom, Te Rā has arrived home…

Walking into the future with eyes fixed on the past

Professor Tangiwai Rewi, newly appointed Te Amokapua (Dean), Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao, is…

Dr Tangiwai Rewi

Waikato alumna to lead Māori & Indigenous Studies

The University of Waikato’s Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao, Faculty of Māori and Indigenous…

Dr Jason Mika

Significant funding boost for University of Waikato research

The University of Waikato has achieved significant results in the latest funding round from the…

Dr Haki Tuaupiki and Associate Professor Maui Hudson

Waikato researchers tapped for US$30m Centre for braiding Indigenous knowledge and science

Two University of Waikato researchers have been shoulder-tapped as investigators within the newly launched NSF…

Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts

Te Kāhui a Kiwa - driving awareness and dialogue on Indigenous trade

Indigenous and international speakers meet this week at the University of Waikato to share their…

Dr Lynne Chepulis, Dr Ryan Paul

Prioritising Māori and Pacific patients for new diabetes drugs pays off

Prioritising Māori and Pacific patients in accessing two game-changing diabetes drugs is leading to better…

Algae to economics: academic promotions announced

The University of Waikato has announced its latest round of academic promotions.

Ngareta Timutimu awarded prestigious University Medal

The University of Waikato has awarded its prestigious University Medal to Ngareta Timutimu (MNZM) recognising…

Te Maiea o te Rangi; the sun rises on a new opportunity for te reo

A new opportunity to take te reo to the world has risen at the University…