This week, the capital city will see the newest graduates of Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington celebrate the successful completion of their studies.
More than 1100 qualifications will be awarded to 1007 graduates across four formal graduation ceremonies. Three of the ceremonies will be held at the Michael Fowler Centre, while the tikanga Māori graduation ceremony Te Hui Whakapūmau will be held in The Hub at the University’s Kelburn campus. Thirty-eight students will graduate at this ceremony.
The traditional highlight of the University’s graduation celebrations, a formal procession through Wellington city centre, will take place from 1 pm on Thursday 7 December.
The University’s Manukura-Chancellor, John Allen, extends his warmest congratulations to those graduating.
“It’s wonderful to celebrate the significant milestone of graduation with our graduates, their whānau and friends, our staff, and the wider Wellington community. This is always a time to pause and reflect on the culmination of many years of hard work and to thank those who have provided support along the way.
“We are, as always, grateful for the efforts of our academic and professional staff in supporting our students, especially during the last year, which has been a difficult one for the University.
“We encourage the public to join us at the parade on Thursday to congratulate our graduates and enjoy this celebration.”
The University will also recognise philanthropist Sir Mark Dunajtschik, Chief Judge Christina Inglis, and Professor of Mātauranga Māori Rangi Matamua (Tūhoe), FRSNZ, ONZM, with Honorary Doctorates.
Starting his career as businessman and property developer, Sir Mark has since become an extraordinary philanthropist to the Wellington community. His contributions include the funding of a helicopter rescue service (which later became Life Flight), the new children’s hospital at Wellington Hospital, an adult mental health facility in the Hutt Valley, and recently a mechanical engineering department at the University.
Chief Judge Christina Inglis, whose Honorary Doctorate was postponed from December last year, is the first female Chief Judge of the Employment Court. Her award recognises her contribution to the law and judiciary, particularly in the areas of employment and human rights.
Professor Matamua is one of Aotearoa’s top science communicators, and is widely known for his contribution to advancing public knowledge and awareness of Māori astronomy, particularly Matariki. His work in this area has transformed the public’s view of Māori astronomy and the validity of Indigenous science in general.
Whakarae-Vice-Chancellor Nic Smith is looking forward to the graduation ceremonies and to welcoming the graduates to Te Herenga Waka’s alumni community.
“It’s fantastic to see a new cohort of graduates ready to make their way into the world, with all the expertise and confidence they have gained through their years at university. We are already very proud of what they have achieved and we will watch with interest to see the contributions they will make to Aotearoa New Zealand and the world. I wish each of them every future success.”
From 1 pm on Thursday 7 December, staff and students will parade in full academic dress through Wellington, proceeding from Old Government Buildings on Lambton Quay through to Te Ngākau Civic Square.
Wednesday 6 December
Ceremony 1: 2.30 pm, Michael Fowler Centre
Wellington Faculty of Engineering, Wellington Faculty of Science, Wellington Faculty of Health, Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation
Thursday 7 December
Ceremony 2: 9.30 am, Michael Fowler Centre
Wellington School of Business and Government, Faculty of Law
Ceremony 3: 2.30 pm, Michael Fowler Centre
Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Wellington Faculty of Education
Friday 8 December
Te Hui Whakapūmau, 9.30 am, The Hub, Kelburn Campus
Te Hui Whakapūmau is an official University graduation ceremony based on tikanga Māori (Māori cultural practices). Usually, this event is held at our university marae, however, construction of the Living Pā means that for December 2023, the ceremony will be held in The Hub at the Kelburn Campus.