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University puts te reo and Kingitanga at the forefront

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Māori markets, a three-course meal served in te reo, and a keynote speech by Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon were on the cards last week as the University of Waikato celebrated Kīngitanga Day and Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

KÄ«ngitanga Day, an annual event that recognises the University’s unique connection with the KÄ«ngitanga and Waikato-Tainui, was celebrated across both Hamilton and Tauranga campuses and saw the convergence of key cultural influencers on university grounds.

Under the theme Kotahitanga - Unity, KÄ«ngitanga Day provided a platform to unite cultures across both campuses and the wider community.

"The University of Waikato is unique in that we are the only University to have a Māori name," says Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori.

"Our name acknowledges the tribal land on which the University’s Hamilton campus is located, as well as the wider Waikato region.

"Part of KÄ«ngitanga Day this year was to not only acknowledge our cultural distinctiveness, but to embrace and share our culture, and all other cultures who share the campus with us."

The event started with a pōwhiri and karakia, followed by an opening address by Dr Tiakiwai and a keynote speech from Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon.

Throughout the day attendees were treated to various activities, from cultural boat tours on the Waikato River and bus tours in Tauranga, to market stalls and hangi.

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