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Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Maori) appointed at VUW

Senior public sector executive manager Piri Sciascia has been appointed to the new role of Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Maori) at Victoria University of Wellington.

Announcing the appointment, Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Roy Sharp says Mr Sciascia brings a wealth of managerial skills to the role, complemented by a strong and proud Maori upbringing and background.

Mr Sciascia is of Ngati Kahungunu and Kai Tahu descent, with very strong affiliations to Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Rangitane.

Professor Sharp says he is delighted that Mr Sciasia has accepted the role.

"His appointment signals the University's commitment to Maori students and staff at Victoria and to the wider community that the University serves.

"I firmly believe that Victoria can always do more to meet the education needs of Maori and Mr Sciascia has the experience, competency, motivation and innovation to help achieve these needs.

"His strengths in Maori culture and development, the arts, expanding Maori perspectives within the public sector and enabling development opportunities for Maori are all highly valuable skills to bring to this new role," says Professor Sharp.

A graduate of both Otago and Victoria Universities, Mr Sciascia holds a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biochemistry; a BA in Anthropology; a BA with first-class honours in Maori studies and a teaching diploma.

His secondary schooling was completed at the prestigious Te Aute College in southern Hawkes Bay where he was dux.

Between 1975 and 1981 Mr Sciascia lectured in Maori studies at Palmerston North Teacher's College and helped establish a Maori studies unit and Marae at the College.

Following this teaching role he became the Assistant Director of the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, and Director Maori and South Pacific Arts Council. During this time he concurrently administered the Te Maori exhibition.

Between 1989 and 1997 Mr Sciascia was Assistant Director-General at the Department of Conservation, where he promoted inclusion of Maori conservation management perspectives within the Department.

Since 1997 he has been adviser to the Chief Executive of Te Puni Kokiri. In this role he facilitated the setting up of a Maori Development Commission in Education, economic development, health, employment and training to reduce social and economic disparity among Maori.

A keen sportsman, father of five and holder of a commemorative medal for service to the arts, Mr Sciascia begins his Assistant Vice-Chancellor role in July, 2000.

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