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A Celebration of Māori Academic Excellence

A Celebration of Māori Academic Excellence

Waikato University is again honoured to host the National Māori Academic Excellence Awards, to be held on Friday 12 November at the Kingsgate Hotel, Te Rapa, Hamilton.

The criteria for the awards are the conferment of a Doctoral qualification from any New Zealand tertiary institution within the period 31 July 2003 to 31 July 2004. This year, thirty (30) award recipients have been confirmed with representation from Waikato, Massey, Victoria, Canterbury, Auckland, and Otago universities.

Waikato’s pro vice-chancellor Māori Professor Tamati Reedy says: “2004 has been a huge year for Māori tertiary achievement. Throughout the year many universities have awarded honorary doctorates to some of our most deserving and outstanding community leaders and academics. The University of Otago is celebrating 100 years of Māori education at their institution, including a celebration of their first Māori graduate Te Rangi Hiroa. The outstanding initiatives of Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga continue to evolve and create opportunity for Māori at the highest levels within academia, and indeed Waikato University celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The three wānanga are also creating opportunities for doctoral level study and making excellent contributions to the tertiary sector.

“On 12 November, we will be celebrating the recent achievements of thirty PhD graduates from across all New Zealand universities. The recipients of 2004 contribute to the body of knowledge across a diverse range of disciplines, from Māori language and education, to mana wahine and genetic modification, through to super-consciousness and the virtually real. Suffice to say, Māori academics are making hugely significant contributions to the growth and development of our nation.”

The awards event, supported by major sponsors the Tertiary Education Commission, Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust, NIWA, Te Ohu Kaimoana, Te Puni Kokiri and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo, provides an opportunity for the tertiary sector to come together in recognition of the growing profile of Māori academic excellence.

Recent Waikato University PhD graduate Angus Macfarlane says: “The PhD represents years of dedication and hard work, and it will be great to celebrate with others who have also recently emerged from the challenge. While our individual academic contributions will be significant, it is what we can achieve collectively that will have the most influence.”

To support the occasion, high profile Māori musicians and performers will provide the evening’s entertainment, including comedian Mike King, local reggae band Katchafire, and kapa haka group Pounamu. Scotty Morrison and Stacey Daniels are set to MC the night.

The event will be a highlight of the Māori academic calendar, and with the numbers of Māori enrolling and graduating at PhD level continuing to increase, the trend of recognition and celebration looks set to continue well into the future.

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