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Waiariki finalists in Māori Language Awards

29 October 2012

Waiariki finalists in Māori Language Awards

For the first time Waiariki Institute of Technology is a finalist at the Māori Language Commission’s annual awards which this year are being held in Tauranga on November 16.

After several years of striving toward being uniquely bicultural, Waiariki has made some telling steps which had seen the institute selected in the tertiary section of the awards.

Under the theme Tikanga A Rua He Ahurei – Uniquely Bicultural, a framework has been fully adopted and real traction has been made among the staff with regular voluntary te reo lessons and noho marae held.

Through this framework, staff are encouraged to varying levels in five core areas: Te Reo Māori, Tikanga Māori, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Demographic Drivers, and Ako (Biculturalism and Cultural Diversity in Teaching).

Allison Lawton, then acting Deputy Chief Executive (Māori), said it was a positive acknowledgement of the important work being done by staff in researching, preparing and upskilling in this area.

“It’s around creating the environment so that anyone who walks into Waiariki can feel the difference,” she said of the whole-of-organisation approach.

“The staff are feeling comfortable and understanding [our stance] and, if you can successfully engage with Māori learners, you can engage with anybody from any country.”

Waiariki provides an environment and vocational education aimed at preparing students for an increasingly culturally diverse society founded on biculturalism, where the best of both Māori and Pakeha cultures and world views inform and enrich one’s identity and experience of being in New Zealand. This is further enhanced by a recognition and celebration of the culture and world views of other ethnic groups.

The Māori Language Awards were established to recognise and celebrate the work that people do in support of New Zealand’s indigenous language all year round and includes a special category for Māori Language Week. The awards categories include the private sector, community, local government, broadcasting, print, IT and telecommunications, education, tertiary and Māori Language Week.

ENDS

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