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Graduate helping Māori to preserve past

Graduate helping Māori to preserve past

Following his interests in Māori archaeology and the church led Taupo student Cruz Karauti-Fox to study at the University of Auckland.

On Tuesday 27 September he was among 3160 students who received their qualifications either in person or in absentia at the University’s Spring Graduation ceremonies.

Of NZ Maori, Cook Island and Tahitian background, Cruz, who turns 24 this week, received a conjoint Bachelor of Arts and Theology degree, majoring in Anthropology (which includes archaeology) and Christian Thought and History.

Conjoint programmes, designed for more able students, take about five years to complete.

Already applying his new knowledge, Cruz is helping the Te Kohera Kakaho Trust to digitally record historical data in the Taupo area, which includes archaeological sites, rock art, korero purakau, and taonga Māori.

“Since I was a child I have been fascinated with the physical anthropological remains of the past and understanding their value within cultural contexts,” says Cruz. “I’m especially interested in the material past of Māori and Pacific contexts, which therefore led me to pursue a degree in Anthropology.”

“I am also still a committed member of the Anglican Church and my Bachelor of Theology will serve as a foundational qualification in my pursuit to become a member of the ordained ministry.”

Cruz attended Taupo Nui A Tia College prior to university and received the Saint John’s College Trust Board Residential Scholarship from the Anglican Church to financially assist his studies.

He was active within the University community as the Cook Island student officer for the Pacific Island Students Association (AUPISA), and the cultural officer for the Cook Island Students Association (AUCISA).

ENDS

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