Powhiri marks wananga celebration | News | Kawerau

Powhiri marks wananga celebration

1 May 2015

ENTERING THE TENT: Visitors are welcomed into the marquee at Te Manuka Tutahi Marae. Photo Troy Baker

It is the first time the wananga has held the graduation event over two days. Acting chief executive Wiremu Doherty said there were 1300 certificates, bachelor, masters and doctoral degrees to award, and an increase in graduation activities.

“Awanuiarangi takes great pride and pleasure in honouring their achievements. Their knowledge and expertise must now be put to work not only for themselves and their whanau, but also for the good of all our people and of society at large.”

A presentation of special awards and three honorary doctorates, recognising decades of commitment to Maori development and education, followed the powhiri.

The three recipients of the honorary doctorates were Maori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey, Te Wananga o Raukawa chief executive Mereana Selby and Wairoa kaumatua Te Ariki Mei.

Graham Smith, the wananga’s former chief executive, said Judge Harvey was awarded the doctorate in Maori development for his “exceptional service” to iwi and Maori and for his commitment to education.

Mr Smith said that over the years, Judge Harvey had worked with many iwi to negotiate settlement deals with the Government. They included Ngati Kahu, Ngati Paoa, Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Maniapoto, Ngati Haua and Ngati Awa.

“He was appointed to the Maori Land Court as a judge in September 2003.”

Mr Smith said Mrs Selby was awarded her honorary doctorate for outstanding services.

“The award recognises her life-long committed and impassioned campaign for the revitalisation of te reo Maori.”

He said Mr Mei received his honorary doctorate for a life of dedicated service to Maori that included almost 10 years teaching students through the marae-based programmes in Wairoa for Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi.

“For nearly 10 years he has taught at all of the marae – the 34 marae at Wairoa and its surrounding area – for free.”

Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi council member Materoa Dodd was also awarded a distinguished fellow in humanities for “extraordinary contribution to iwi development and education”.

The wananga’s graduation ceremonies will continue today with the graduands set to parade through Whakatane’s main street at 9.30am.

The Gown and Town hikoi will be followed by formal graduation proceedings at 10.30am at the Whakatane War Memorial Centre. More than 1000 people are expected to pack the stadium as graduands are capped.

Source: Whakatane Beacon