The University of Waikato has awarded its prestigious University Medal to Ngareta Timutimu (MNZM) recognising her service to the University as a member of the University Council and as Chairperson of Te Rōpū Manukura.
Over three decades Ms Timutimu, Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Ranginui, has been a positive influence across all sectors of education from early years to tertiary, in governance, management and teaching.
She has made Māori language a critical part of any project she is involved in, Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley says.
“While she is humble in her own achievements, Ms Timutimu is a staunch advocate for the role of education in iwi development and she has been a strong advocate of the University of Waikato,” Professor Quigley says.
From 2016 to 2021 Ms Timutimu was a member of the University of Waikato Council and the Chairperson of Te Rōpū Manukura which, as a committee of the University Council, is responsible for iwi engagement and advice on Treaty of Waitangi principles for the University of Waikato.
Ms Timutimu was Chairperson of Te Te Rōpū Manukura during the period in which the University faced public claims of racism from some staff, commissioned the Parata-Gardiner Review into these claims, and established the Taskforce to consult on approaches to addressing and removing racism from the University environment.
Her wise counsel and steadfast support for the University and its leaders as it dealt with these challenging issues represented a major contribution, Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley says.
In 2020 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and education.
Ms Timutimu’s contribution to Māori and education, particularly in the context of her role on the Council of the University of Waikato and as Chair of Te Rōpū Manukura, has been sustained and important, Professor Quigley says.
“It therefore gives me great pleasure to award her the University of Waikato medal in recognition of her achievements and service to the University of Waikato community.”