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Young Māori Leaders Gather at Waikato University

29 August 2013

Young Māori Leaders Gather at Waikato University

Over 250 tauira Māori from tertiary institutions throughout Aotearoa will gather at Te Whare Wananga o Waikato today to participate in Te Huinga Tauira o Te Mana Akonga, the National Māori Students’ Conference over the next four days.

Hosted every year by a student roopu at their institution, Te Huinga Tauira is an opportunity for Māori tertiary students to discuss and debate topical issues, participate in cultural and sporting activities and to raise awareness about some of the issues that impact on Māori students at tertiary institutions and within the wider community.

“Te Huinga Tauira is a wonderful opportunity for tauira Māori to come together to nurture and maintain their cultural identity, access social and support networks outside of their institutions and feel that their experiences are valued within the context of their learning”, says Ivy Harper, Tumuaki of Te Mana Akonga.

“We are thrilled to be able to gather together after what has been another busy and stressful year for students within the tertiary environment,” says Harper. “While many of the attendees this year are from universities, we have also had roopu from polytechnics attend and have one roopu from a polytechnic. The new tertiary setting has been difficult for many of the smaller roopu and how to support tauira Māori within this new setting will be a topic for discussion over the four days”, says Harper.

Hosted for the first time by Te Waiora, a Māori roopu at Te Whare Wananga o Waikato, Te Huinga Tauira is an opportunity for the hosting association to showcase its institution and to highlight the research that is being carried out there. It is also an opportunity for the hosting association to practice core values of Te Ao Māori including manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, aroha me ona tikanga.

“Te Waiora has been working extremely hard to prepare for Te Huinga Tauira. I know they are excited to have tauira Māori from other tertiary institutions on their campus, and the participants are just as excited to be here”, says Harper.

The 2013 Te Huinga Tauira National Māori Students’ Conference
Background information

• This year, Te Huinga Tauira’s theme is leadership. The conference aims to provide an insight into the Māori world and how Māori perceive leadership, fostering and developing leaders among the attendees.

• The conference will bring together 250-300 Māori students from universities around the country to take part in activities such as manu kōrero (speech competition), hākinakina (sports), kapa haka (performing arts), presentations and workshops.

• Workshops include hoe waka, where students will participate in waka ama activities, taonga pūoro (the history of traditional Māori instruments and their uses), Tū Tauā (traditional Maori weaponry) and tātai whetū (presentation of Māori star constellations and pūrākau).

• The conference also features renowned guest speakers: University of Waikato Professor of Tikanga Māori Pou Tēmara, Labour MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta, kapa haka advocate Te Rita Papesch, creator of Te Aho Tūroa and Te Rāranga Tira Māori youth programmes Te Rawhitiroa Bocsh, and Ninakaye Taane Tinorau, manager of Tiki Taane and TikiDub Productions.

• Te Waiora o te Whare Wānanga o Waikato was established in 2010 and fosters Māori students to actively contribute towards all aspects of university life (academic, cultural, sporting and social). Te Waiora provides a whānau during their time at university.

• The public is welcome to attend the powhiri at the University’s Te Kohinga Mārama marae at 1pm on Thursday 29 August, and also kapa haka performances on Friday 30 August from 2.30pm at The Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on the university campus.

ENDS

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