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20 years of Mäori achievement at Massey University

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

20 years of Mäori achievement at Massey University

Mäori student success, particularly at postgraduate level, has increased significantly in the 20 years that Massey University has been celebrating Mäori student achievement.

The 20th annual ceremony to honour Mäori graduates at the Palmerston North campus will be held in the Regent on Broadway Theatre on Friday 16 May.

“The fact that about half of this year's graduates have achieved postgraduate qualifications, including three graduating with doctorates in arts, business and science, is testament to the long-term investment Massey University has made to support and encourage Mäori professionals to continue with their study to a higher level,” says Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Mäori) Professor Mason Durie (pictured).

Just over 300 Mäori students from Massey’s three campuses, Auckland, Palmerston North and Wellington, will graduate this year. Of those, 68 students will take part in the ceremony at Palmerston North.

“The ceremony gives students the chance to acknowledge the contribution and support they have received from their whänau and friends to complete their degrees,” says Professor Durie, who is also acting Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

“Mäori representation across all disciplines and at all levels has grown significantly since the first ceremony in 1988, with a growing number of students studying business, sciences, and arts,” says Professor Durie.

“This year graduates have attained a range of qualifications in business, education, humanities, social sciences and sciences. There are also a significant number of graduates from the Mäori Visual Arts programme and the Te Rau Puawai, Mäori Mental Health Workforce Development programme.”

The make-up of Mäori students at Massey is distinctive, with the average age of students 32 years. This year there are about 11 graduates aged over 60.

A graduation ceremony for Mäori students at Massey’s Wellington campus will be held on 27 May. The ceremony for Mäori students at Massey’s Auckland campus was held last week.

Selected student profiles:

Royna Fifield (Ngäti Tuwharetoa, Ngäti Maniapoto) is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English. In the 2007 Pikihuia Awards for Māori Writers she was the winner of the Huia Publishers Short Story Award for best short story in English. This year she is completing postgraduate studies in English.

Tracy Petersen (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Pikiahu Waewae) is graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours Second Class (Div II) in Engineering and Industrial Management. After working on a project as part of his degree, he achieved a significant consultancy with Contact Energy and has since secured a position at Fielding based company, Fibreglass Development Limited project managing research and development.

Yvette McCausland-Durie (Ngāti Awa, Ngā Puhi) is graduating with a Master of Education Second Class Honours (Div I). She is head coach of the New Zealand Under 21 netball team and
In the 2007 Māori Sports Awards she was the winner of the Māori Sports Coach of the Year. She is also the project manager for Tū Toa, a secondary school educational initiative established in 2005, that seeks to build excellence in sport and education within a Māori context.

Hinurewa Poutu, (Ngāti Rangi, Te Āti Haunui ā Pāpārangi, Ngāti Maniapoto) is graduating with a Master of Philosophy in Māori Studies. She is a graduate of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Mana Tamariki and signals the continuing academic achievement of Kura Kaupapa graduates at university.

Te Harawira Turoa Haronga (Ngāti Kahungunu) at 74 years old is graduating with a Master of Social Work (Applied). He is an example of maintaining a continuing interest in tertiary education. Turoa gained a Certificate in Social and Community Work in 1995 and in 2000 completed a Bachelor of Art in Social Science. This year he is graduating with a Masters degree and is a life member of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Work.

Tania Anne Lewis-Rickard (Ngati Kahungungu, Tuhoe) and Tawhai William Rickard (Ngāti Porou) a husband and wife graduating in the Māori Visual Arts programme.

Te Oru Mac O’Shea Mikaere, graduating with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, is the grandson of Te Maharanui Jacob one of the first Māori veterinary surgeons.


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