Tag Archives: Māori


Today marks 147 years of UC history. As we celebrate our Foundation Day, we’re spending this week reflecting on the triumphs of some of our legends.

“E tipu, e rea, mō ngā rā o tō ao.
Ko tō ringa ki ngā rāakau a te Pākehā, hei ora mō te tinana.
Ko tō ngākau ki ngā taonga a ō tīpuna Māori, hei tikitiki mō tō māhunga.
Ko tō wairua ki tō Atua, nāna nei ngā mea katoa.”

Born into the Ngāti Porou iwi, Tā Apirana Ngata’s early years were strongly influenced by his father Paratene, and his great-uncle Rapata, who imbued him with a strong sense of loyalty to the Crown. As native speakers of te reo Māori, they both insisted he also learnt Pākehā knowledge and skills as they believed this could help him to improve life and conditions for the Māori people.

At Te Aute College, Ngata learnt the classics, was prepared for matriculation, university and the professions – and, along with all Māori students, was strongly encouraged to have pride in Māori and instilled with the mission of saving their people from social disintegration.

By 1893, when he graduated from UC with a BA in political science, followed by an MA and an LLB in 1896, Ngata was the first Māori to graduate from any University in New Zealand. He then dedicated his life to reforming the social and economic conditions of the Māori people.

Through his life, he became a renowned leader, land reformer and politician. Elected as a member of Parliament in 1905, he remained until 1943. As Minister of Māori Affairs, his Māori Land Development Scheme, inaugurated in 1931, was one of the greatest achievements of his Parliamentary career.

In 1949 Apirana Ngata wrote in the autograph book of schoolgirl, Rangi Bennett,

“E tipu, e rea, mō ngā rā o tō ao. Ko tō ringa ki ngā rāakau a te Pākehā, hei ora mō te tinana. Ko tō ngākau ki ngā taonga a ō tīpuna Māori, hei tikitiki mō tō māhunga. Ko tō wairua ki tō Atua, nāna nei ngā mea katoa.”

“Thrive and grow for the days destined for you.  Your hands to the tools of the Pākehā, to provide physical sustenance.  Your heart to the treasures of your ancestors as adornments for your head. Your soul to God to whom all things belong.” This became much quoted as a vision for Māori youth.

Ngata was knighted in 1927 in recognition of his services to Māori communities and for his efforts as Chief Recruiting Officer during the First World War. Throughout his life, he contributed profoundly to the revival of the Māori race spiritually, culturally, and economically.

New Zealand paid tribute to this remarkable man in 1999 by embedding his portrait on the New Zealand $50 note alongside the Porourangi Meeting house of his iwi and the Kōkako bird.

Interested to learn more? Check out the rest of our legends here>

Māpura Māori – Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha

In this edition of Māpura Māori, Reo Māori in a minute, we are looking at the reo Māori name for UC, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha.

“Whare wānanga” is a term associated with tradition schools of learning. Over time, this term has been used to also mean ‘university’

“Waitaha” is a name used to describe Canterbury, but it is derived from the name, Ngā Pākihi Whakatekateka o Waitaha, the vast plains upon which were occupied by Waitaha.

Listen here:


Māpura Māori – Reo Māori in a minute!

Māpura means fire, flash or spark

Delivered to your email inbox each fortnight Te Waka Pākākano | Office of the AVC Māori, Pacific and Equity will provide a small video clip called Māpura Māori – Reo Māori in a minute –  a short, informal pronunciation lesson to assist you with the correct pronunciation of some of our UC events, publications, programmes, places and spaces.

Māpura Māori is designed to both spark your motivation and provide you with a better understanding of the meaning behind many of these names and phrases – so that you build your bicultural competence and confidence while giving reo a go!

Kia iti te kupu, kia nui te whakaaro – capitalising on the micro-moments of opportunity that are available in our busy days, we have set ourselves a challenge – to provide you with a snippet of support via a video clip, in only 90 seconds or less. You will also find a link to an audio file so that you are able to click, listen, learn and let your ārero (tongue) practice the pronunciation in the privacy of your own home or office space.

Kia kaha tatou ki te tū ki te tahi – kia kaha tō tatou reo Māori!

Tū ki te tahi means to ‘stand as one’.

Click below to listen and practice your pronunciation for “Tū ki te tahi”.

Tū ki te tahi is an excerpt taken from the Ngāi Tahu whakataukī: “Whakahaua tō iwi, kia tū ki te tahi” which translates to ‘encourage your people to stand as one’.

In naming our staff pānui Tū ki te tahi, we acknowledge this fortnightly email as an opportunity for us all as UC whānau to engage and be empowered by the information shared so that we increase our knowledge on how to continue making a difference in our community, locally and globally – tangata tū, tangata ora.

Te Waka Pākākano – new name for Office of the AVC Māori, Pacific & Equity

We are pleased to announce the name of the Māori, Pacific and Equity portfolio, led by Dr Darryn Russell.  Formerly known as the Office of the AVC Māori it now includes a focus on Māori, peoples of the Pacific and equity, diversity and inclusiveness.

The new names for the unit, and for the AVC position are:

Te Waka Pākākano | Office of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori, Pacific and Equity

Te Amokapua Pākākano | Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori, Pacific and Equity

The narrative of the names is important.  Te Waka Pākākano is a seed carrying vessel; this reference is taken from a Ngāi Tahu ngeri, a chant for launching a waka or canoe, Terea te Waka, that tells of the voyage of the waka Uruao from its ancestral homelands to Te Waipounamu.  It refers to the dispersal of peoples through the Pacific, and by extension to all those who have come to make their home here in Te Waipounamu.

It also references the whakataukī: “E kore au e ngaro, he kākano i ruia mai i Rangi-ātea”; I will never disappear, a seed dispersed from Rangi-ātea, which honours the diverse origins of the members of the UC community, and our resilience to thrive.

The title for the role of AVC Māori, Pacific and Equity, Te Amokapua Pākākano, is based on the name of the unit.  At UC the term ‘amokapua’ is given to those leaders with the title Assistant Vice-Chancellor.

Learning from lockdown – the voices of parents of Māori and Pasifika students

What can we learn from this period of school closures? Authors of the report School-led learning at home: The voices of parents of Maori and Pasifika students, Dr Melanie Riwai-Couch, Tufulasi Taleni and Ally Bull, will discuss the value of parent voice and some of the key findings of their recent research in an upcoming webinar for teachers.

The panel of speakers will discuss how school-led learning at home is conceptualised and the experiences of Māori and Pasifika families over the period of school closures. They also will consider what we can learn from the past weeks about the value of home-school partnerships and what this means for schools moving forward.

Please join us for this informative and interactive webinar for teachers. As usual, there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

When: 7:30pm , Thursday 14 May 2020
Where: Register online through the Education Hub website: https://theeducationhub.org.nz/schools-webinar-learning-from-lockdown-the-voices-of-parents-of-maori-and-pasifika-students/
For more information:

Tufulasi Taleni
Kaiarahi Pasifika
College of Education, Health and Human Development