Te Herenga Waka Marae ceremony

You can choose to have your qualification conferred at Te Herenga Waka Marae rather than the Michael Fowler Centre.

May ceremony

The ceremony will start at 9am, Friday 17 May 2019 at Te Herenga Waka Marae, Kelburn Parade.

Graduands will need to register at Whare Ako by 8.30am. Whānau are requested to wait at the waharoa while graduands register.

Inviting guests

Seating is general admission and your whānau and friends do not require guest tickets. Because space is limited, we ask you to be considerate when choosing how many guests to invite. The Marae will contact you separately to ask for your whānau and guest numbers for catering purposes.

Additional requirements

Te Herenga Waka Marae is wheelchair accessible. Guests with a disability that require specific seating arrangements should email tehuiwhakapumau@vuw.ac.nz

Being comfortable

Please ensure that you and your whānau are prepared for cold and wet weather. We strongly recommend a warm rug and cushion for kaumatua. If it rains, the full ceremony will take place in the wharenui, Te Tumu Herenga Waka. Children, elders and those with medical conditions may need special care during the ceremony—please make appropriate arrangements.

The ceremony

You should meet at 9am at the waharoa (carved gateway) at 42 Kelburn Parade, Te Apa Mareikura o Māui Tikitiki-a-Taranga, and check in with the marshal.

  • Pōhiri / Formal welcome
  • Te kupu a te Manukura / Chancellor’s address
  • Te whakamanatanga a te Manukura i ngā tauira / Granting of degrees, diplomas and certificates by the Chancellor
  • Te kupu o te rā / Guest speaker
  • Te karanga i ngā tauira / Presentation of graduates to the Chancellor
  • Ngā taonga a Ngāi Tauira / Presentation of gifts to the graduates by Ngāi Tauira
  • Te tuku i ngā tohu / Presentation of certificates
  • Ngā taonga a MAI ki Pōneke / MAI ki Pōneke PhD gift presentation
  • Ngā taonga a Ngāi Tauira / Presentation of gifts to the graduates by Ngāi Tauira
  • Te kupu a te Tauira / Graduate speaker’s address
  • Karakia whakapūmau / Ritual of affirmation
  • Karanga whakaū / Call of affirmation

The pōwhiri and ceremony last approximately two and a half hours. Kai hākari will be served immediately afterwards in the wharekai, Ngā Mokopuna. After the ceremony, we ask all graduands to remain in the wharenui for a group photograph; after this, please join your whānau in the wharekai.


Kāore Taku Raru is the official waiata of Te Herenga Waka Marae. It will be sung during the pōwhiri onto the marae.

Live streaming

Whānau and friends unable to attend your graduation can watch the ceremony via live stream. Details will be available on the Victoria homepage on the day of the ceremony.

Planning your travel

Parking around campus is limited and we recommend using public transport or taxis to travel to your ceremony.

Pay and display parks are available in Waiteata Road. It is a ten minute walk uphill from there to the marae. We suggest you bring your kaumātua to the marae before parking. Allow enough time to get back to the marae by 8.30am.

Names and iwi affiliation

You will be announced by your first and last name as they appear on official university documents.

Your iwi affiliation will be read out as you collect your certificate.


If you wish to change the name that is read out when you graduate or you have a name that is likely to be mispronounced, you need to let us know. You’ll be emailed with details of how to submit your request.

It’s important that you help us with the pronunciation of your name as we want to ensure it is correct and that you have a positive graduation experience.


Victoria University’s Image Services will photograph the ceremony. Individual photographs will be taken during the ceremony and a group photograph of all graduates will be taken in the wharenui after the ceremony.  After the formalities, you can have group and whānau photographs taken.

Whānau are welcome to video and take photographs during the ceremony. However, during the Karakia Whakapūmau—ritual of affirmation—we respectfully ask that whānau refrain from filming or taking photographs.