University hosts celebration of Maori academic excellence

4 March 2008
Former Labour minister Koro Wetere will receive a lifetime award at Friday night’s Maori academic excellence awards.

The University of Waikato hosts the sixth annual Te Amorangi National Māori Academic Excellence Awards, on Friday March 7 at Tūrangawaewae Marae, Ngāruawāhia, from 6pm.

Awards will be made to Māori students who were conferred with a doctoral qualification from any New Zealand tertiary institution throughout 2007.

This year 35 award recipients have been confirmed, representing Waikato, Massey, Victoria, Auckland and Otago universities. Their areas of study and expertise range from dentistry, zoology, weaving, education, health to language revitalisation.

A feature of the awards is the presentation for the lifetime achievement award – Te Tohu Whakamaharatanga ki Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu.

This year's recipient is the Hon. Koro Wetere CBE nō Tainui waka. Mr Wetere is most recognised for his contribution to Parliament as a Minister for the Labour Government from 1969 until his retirement in 1996. During his role as minister of Māori affairs, he actively supported the re-establishment of programmes in Māori language in pre-schools, schools and broadcasting. Mr Wetere was also a strong supporter of Matiu Rata and his efforts to establish the Waitangi Tribunal.

In 1999 Mr Wetere received an honorary doctorate from the University of Waikato for his tireless contributions to the well-being and the advancement of Māori affairs in Aotearoa.

Major sponsors of the annual academic excellence awards include Te Taura Whiri i te Reo, the Tertiary Education Commission, Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust, Te Puni Kōkiri, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga and the University of Waikato. The evening is organised by the university's Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori Office which supports the university to meet its commitments - with specific reference to the Treaty of Waitangi and Māori advancement.

The event will be a highlight of the Māori academic calendar, and with the numbers of Māori enrolling and graduating at PhD level continuing to increase, the trend of recognition and celebration looks set to continue.

For more information:
Merepaea Dunn
Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori Office
The University of Waikato or ph: 07 858 5133