Victoria University of Wellington offers a diverse and rich range of opportunities and services for Māori students and staff alike.
While there are many different whakapapa at Victoria, there is one whānau—ours.
On the academic front, leading-edge research, teaching, learning and achievement are encouraged in a supportive environment both within the university community and its wider network of contacts and stakeholders.
A central focus is Toihuarewa, which I convene as the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori). Toihuarewa is a forum for Māori academic issues at Victoria operating from a base of tikanga and kaupapa Māori, acknowledging partnerships with mana whenua, tangata whenua, staff and students. Toihuarewa ensures appropriate Māori content in our teaching and research programmes.
As the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori), I also have a second role as the Toiahurei which involves leading the progress of Māori at Victoria University and the University’s progress in relation to its Treaty of Waitangi obligations.
Important aspects of this oversight include the vibrant social and cultural dimensions of Victoria. Te Herenga Waka Marae; kapa haka; mentoring and peer support groups; and Māori representative bodies, to name just a few resources, are all actively provided.
Without doubt, the shape of Māori involvement and participation in the tertiary education sector is changing rapidly, as is the entire tertiary sector.
It is important to document development and change for Māori to both measure and manage our involvement and progress in the university environment.
Māori have an encouraging history of surviving competently in this kind of environment—an environment characterised by times of pressure and ‘stretch’.
There are many initiatives contributing to the betterment of Māori at Victoria. Communication is at the core of a shared understanding of the progress made and yet possible.
However, real progress is also a matter of shared leadership and wise choices. This leadership is vested in both Māori and key non-Māori and lays a pathway for ongoing achievement for all students, staff, business partners and friends of Victoria University of Wellington.
Toiahurei, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori) and convenor of Toihuarewa