|Not a member? Sign up now!|
Whanau and friends gathered in Palmerston North yesterday to celebrate Maori student achievement at Massey’s Palmerston North campus.
It is 20 years since the first ceremony to honour Maori Graduates was held at Massey. Now the ceremonies are an integral and hugely popular part of every graduation at each of the campuses.
In 1988 there were just four Maori seats in Parliament, no Maori Party, and no Maori Television network, let alone a dedicated te reo channel.
“Today,” guest speaker Maori Land Court Judge Craig Coxhead told graduates, “it’s truly cool to be brown. Days like today fuel my excitement about being Maori. The Maori train has arrived. Maori are no longer just the passengers, but the future drivers."
This year 68 students took part in the special ceremony held at Palmerston North’s Regent theatre, 11 of them aged over 60.
Judge Coxhead challenged graduates to consider where they will be in future and the contributions they will make in the their communities.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Maori) Professor Mason Durie says the make-up of Mäori students at Massey is distinctive and graduates have attained a range of qualifications in business, education, humanities, social sciences and sciences.
“There are also a significant number of graduates from the Mäori Visual Arts programme and the Te Rau Puawai, Mäori Mental Health Workforce Development programme,” Professor Durie says.
The next ceremony to honour Maori graduates will be at the Wellington campus on 27 May.
Pictured from left: Julia Taiapa, Professor Taiarahia Black, guest-speaker Judge Craig Coxhead and Professor Mason Durie.