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‘Never too late’ to start education

‘Never too late’ to start education

Wellington Massey University Maori graduates celebrate their achievement, from left: Raewyn Douglas, Anastasia Burnard, Maria Haenga-Collins, Karen Ngatai, Sharalee Davis, Cornellia Vermunt, Patsy Moeahu, Mira Stanton, Tessa Bailey-Lont, Arawhetu Berdinner, Leith Porter-Samuels, Keri Welham, Matthew Calman and Adrian McCleland.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008
‘Never too late’ to start education

Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta told Mäori students graduating from Massey University in Wellington that it is never too late for more education.

“I’ve been through tertiary education and the trials and tribulations of asking for extensions and dealing with and meeting expectations, it’s all part of the learning curve,” Ms Mahuta said at a ceremony to honour Mäori graduates yesterday afternoon.

The 14 Mäori graduates at the ceremony were among more than 600 who graduated from the campus at two capping ceremonies in the Michael Fowler Centre today.

“Retention of Mäori students so they get out the other end and make a contribution back to their communities is no small feat,” Ms Mahuta said. “Be an inspiration to your whänau; your achievements will inspire future generations. An insatiable thirst for knowledge is in our whakapapa, history and childhood stories.”

Relationships, the theme of Youth Week being celebrated this week was a major contributor to the graduates’ achievements who said that whänau support was key to their success. Other factors included hard work, commitment, perseverance and good study skills.

Professor Chris Cunningham, from the University’s Research Centre for Mäori Health and Development, acknowledged that 12 of the 14 Mäori graduates were women and half of the group were parents. “Graduates have seen the importance of tertiary education for themselves, their whanau and their children.”

The graduates are from across four of the University’s five colleges – Business (3), Creative Arts (5), Education (2), and Humanities and Social Sciences (4).

Professor Cunningham said Massey makes an investment in quality academic outcomes for Mäori. He congratulated the graduates for completing their qualifications. “Now with this task completed it is time to encourage others in your whänau to take the journey.”


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