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Tariana Turia: Speech At Business Graduation

Te Wananga o Aotearoa Graduation for Business and Computing Students; Porirua;

Thursday 15 May 6.30pm

Hon Tariana Turia, Member of Parliament for Te Tai Hauauru

It is a good week to be coming to Porirua, to a graduation of Business and Computing students.

Recently released figures from economic forecasters BERL revealed that Porirua is the best place to start or grow a business in the greater Wellington region; and the tenth best performing territorial local authority – out of 72 throughout Aotearoa.

It is an excellent space for innovation and enterprise to flourish.

Last week, not far from here at Takapuwahia marae, Ngati Toa signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Otago, to formalize a strategic relationship in research and teaching, particularly focused on Maori health.

And in two days time, a bit further up the road in Otaki, there will be an opening of two exciting new ventures within the rohe of Ngati Raukawa ki te Tonga – Reo FM radio station, and Te Reo a Taiao Environment Resource Centre.

There is a buzz in the air – and Te Wananga o Aotearoa is right in the midst of it.

I am so thrilled to be here tonight.

As Member for Te Tai Hauauru I am of course excited about the environment of success that is evident throughout the rohe.

As Co-leader of the Maori Party I am extremely proud of the contribution that Te Wananga o Aotearoa continues to make to the educational landscape of this land.

And as a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother I am always looking out for opportunities to be inspired.

Inspiration is, after all, the core business of Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Over eighty campuses throughout Aotearoa are drawing our communities in, breathing new life and energy into them, creating the momentum for success.

The graduants we honour today have studied modules in marketing, business and people management, multi-media or web design, computing and business administration.

They have become experts in project management, data communications, relational databases and software programming.

They have earnt distinctive qualifications which will take them out into the world of enterprise and opportunity.

Their success is contagious; their achievements are a credit to them and their whanau.

But there is something far greater that they will take with them alongside the diplomas and certificates awarded today.

Each of the graduands has triumphed over adversity; has accomplished the goals they set themselves in coming to the campus on the hill.

And I want to recognize here the unique strength that can emerge when we conquer adversity.

Many of the students who come to Te Wananga o Aotearoa have not enjoyed the sweet taste of success in their earlier educational journey.

But at Te Wananga o Aotearoa failure is not an option.

Each and every experience becomes an opportunity to learn, to be free to reach for the stars and feel the thrill of risking the unknown.

Some of you here tonight, will know the challenge of driving along Titahi Bay Road and resisting the lure of the big Circus Tent that seemed to be a permanent fixture for the long summer months.

Some of you may even have succumbed – and once inside – been captivated by the magic and the mystery of the circus community.

There’s something about the trapeze artist which has always fascinated me.

With all the skills and grace of a dancer, these performers leap to dazzling heights, swinging to the rooftop without a moment of fear.

It seems to me the perfect metaphor for the wonder of the business world.

The discipline and strength required to learn the acrobatic routine requires a level of commitment and perseverance that results in the mastery of the bar.

It is hard work, requiring ongoing effort to get to grips with the rigour of business planning, number crunching, and all it entails.

But alongside the willingness to learn is willingness to risk.

If you are a trapeze artist, you know that if you do happen to falter, there is always a net to break the fall.

The experience that all of you have taken on at Te Wananga o Aotearoa, means that you too can grab the bar with both hands, knowing that the foundation of knowledge you have gained here will stand you in good stead for any future challenge.

You have experienced success, you have demonstrated you are capable of great things; you have taken a risk in walking in the doors of this campus and signing up for study.

A risk that has paid dividends and will continue to do so.

The foundation that Te Wananga o Aotearoa has given you is more than any course manual or curriculum materials will reveal.

For this institution takes pride in celebrating learning, in creating an environment of participation, in embracing people from all cultures and all walks of life.

It is about bringing peoples together from all backgrounds, growing a sense of pride, providing opportunities to be self-sufficient, self-determining.

Tasi Sua sums it up:

“When you study at Te Wananga o Aotearoa you’re not just learning about computing or how to use a computer.

We focus on lifestyle; we teach our tauira how to treat one another, have fun and engage with each other”.

This is the foundation, the safety net, that will empower and enable you all to go out into the great circus of life and dazzle us all.

The emphasis on nga uara, the values which are embedded in to every aspect of learning at this institution.

Values such as :

• te aroha – having regard for one another;

• te whakapono – the confidence to know that what you are doing is right;

• nga ture – the knowledge that your actions are honourable;

• kotahitanga – standing as one, unity through diversity.

The Maori Party knows that to achieve our dreams and aspirations, we must hold true to the kaupapa that our ancestors have upheld mai ra ano.

Our very source as a political movement was an initiative of Mäori, te käkano i ruia mai i Rangiätea.

We know that te Ao Maori, the philosophies, practices and world views encompassed within the tangata whenua reality offer an incredible resource to take us forward.

Such a foundation is absolutely critical at this point in our history.

The peoples of Porirua, probably more than many other communities of Aotearoa, know only too well that the fruits of economic growth have not resulted in equitable distribution of wealth.

Ma nga tikanga Maori tatou e tuhono.

We in the Maori Party believe that if we uphold our tikanga we must manaaki tangata which should naturally bring people together under kotahitanga.

Te Wananga o Aotearoa is an important vehicle to bring our peoples together, to drive into the future.

We want a creative community where the benefits, including financial wealth creation potential through technological creativity, are retained in the ownership of our citizens.

It is about us, all of us, working together to achieve the change we desire for a bright future. Maori, Pasifika, European, Asian, - the peoples who call this land home.

Evenings like tonight give me great confidence that we are in a time of renewal and hope for the future.

I want to thank you all for the inspiration you give me, that our journey forward is in good hands. Your talents, your business expertise, your technological skills will enable the continual growth of our nation.

Whiria nga miro e toru kia tuituia he kahu kiwi ko Aotearoa.

Join up the threads to create a great nation – Aotearoa for all.


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