Graduation at Māori university


Graduation took place at Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Ōtaki, on Saturday 7th December.

350 students graduated. There are about 4.500 students enrolled at the University.

While Te Wānanga o Raukawa is based in Ōtaki, most of the students enrolled are from other districts.

Students at Graduation came from near (for example Porirua, Levin) and far (for example, the East Coast, Tauranga).

Students graduated at various levels. Diploma (‘Heke’); Bachelor (Poutuarongo); Postgraduate (Poutāhū) and Masters (Tāhuhu).

Each student received a certificate and a symbol of achievement. An anchor (punga); a flute (pūtōruno); a staff (pou whenua) or an oratory and leadership staff (tewhatewha).

Subjects included: physical well-being; Māori Laws and Philosophy; Environmental Management; Māori Knowledge; Māori Language; Design and Art; Social Work; Teaching (early childhood to higher levels); Business Management and Information Management.

A highlight of the day was the support given by a student’s family and their local area or school. Each graduate may have been given a karanga (support chant) or challenging haka.

The day was very colourful too in that students often wore beautiful colourful cloaks (kākahu) as they received their certificates.

Whatarangi Winiata, who was one of the founders of Te Wānanga o Raukawa, was one of the elders who greeted each graduate with a hongi.

Currently nearly three-quarters of the students are women. While this ensures a strong future for Māori, the call went out for more men to enrol.

Several graduating students have Pacific origins.


  • Supplied: Pa Piripi Cody
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News category: New Zealand.

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