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Waikato University prepares for Kīngitanga Day

25 August 2014

Waikato University prepares for Kīngitanga Day

The University of Waikato is gearing up for Kīngitanga Day next month - an annual celebration of the relationship between the university and the Kīngitanga.

The University of Waikato has had strong connections with the Kīngitanga and Waikato-Tainui since the university was founded in 1964 and it is this relationship that the university honours each year through Kīngitanga Day.

Professor Linda Smith, the university’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori), says the calibre of speakers Kīngitanga Day attracts is testimony to the growing following the event has locally and nationally.

“Our relationship with the Kīngitanga and Waikato-Tainui, but also many other iwi across the country, has always been a fundamental aspect of this university,” says Professor Smith.

“And Kīngitanga Day is a great opportunity to strengthen and build on these relationships. It’s an opportunity to celebrate our distinctive heritage and history, and it’s also our chance to engage with the wider community.”

This year’s keynote speaker is Dr Lance O’Sullivan, who will speak on “Advancing Māori Health from the Flax Roots”. Named 2014 New Zealander of the Year, the Kaitaia-based GP is a passionate advocate for Māori health and a pioneer for equal healthcare in the community. Dr O’Sullivan is speaking at 9am in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts concert chamber.

Throughout the day presentations and seminars take place with topics ranging from “Ngā Pakanga Whenua – The Flashpoints of War” and “Ngā Tohu o te Taiao – Use of Mātauranga and Science for Managing Mahinga Kai”.

There will be stick and poi demonstrations, food stalls, presentations, panels, workshops, exhibitions, performances and activities. No classes are scheduled on the day to give staff and students a chance to get involved.

Kīngitanga Day is on Thursday, September 18 and starts at 9am. Most activities are free and open to the public.

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