The Success of Te Taka Keegan – A Modern Day Tohunga
Te Reo Māori in a Changing World: The success of Te Taka Keegan – a modern day tohunga
Rahui Papa congratulates Dr Te Taka Keegan, of Waikato-Maniapoto, Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Whakaaue descent, the recipient of the Prime Minister's Supreme Award 2017 and a Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching award - Kaupapa Māori category.
Te Taka is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, The University of Waikato, and has been described as a modern day tohunga (expert) in teaching, research, innovation, and computer science. His philosophy is grounded in his tribal ancestral knowledge, ‘Kia hiki te wairua, kia hihiko te kaupapa, kia hora te aroha’, ‘Lift the spirits, incite the passion, and share the love’.
Te Taka has trailblazed the revitalisation of the Māori language. He translated the university's Computer Science paper and taught it in Māori. He built the Ministry of Education’s bilingual website for schools.
With Microsoft Te Taka developed a Māori keyboard, and led a project which enabled Māori versions of Windows and Office. Te Taka is a highly esteemed Visiting Researcher at Google. All his initiatives provide direct benefits to students and others studying the Māori language, culture and history.
Two of the pillars of Māori Party policy are te reo Māori and innovation in education, and Te Taka’s successes illustrate the power and importance of these in te ao hurihuri, an ever changing world.