Tag Archives: UC Diversity

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.