Tēnā rā koutou, Ni sa bula vinaka, Mālō e lelei, Talofa lava, Kia orana, Fakaalofa lahi atu.
On Friday 24 February Te Tumu welcomed two new staff members, Professor Patrick Vakaoti who is our new Dean and member of the Pacific Islands Studies team, and Dr Wahineata Smith, who is joining our Māori Studies team. A pōwhiri was held at Te Tumu following the tikaka o Kāi Tahu, the mana whenua. We are lucky to have Kare Tipa as one of our staff members who can guide us through the kawa. A big mihi too to everyone involved in the organisation of the event, especially the rika wera from the Office of Māori Development who served the delicious hāngī for lunch. After lunch there was an opportunity for people to informally speak on behalf of the two new staff. Te Tumu staff also presented a koha to Dr Emma Powell, who has just started her maternity leave.
Patrick is a well seasoned sociologist with an interest in Pacific youth, both those who are marginalised and disaffected, but also youth leadership and civic engagement. Currently, he is contemplating research that critically looks at the interface between the University and the aspirations of indigenous students, academics and the community.
Wahineata was once a student at Te Tumu, starting 21 years ago. She completed her PhD at AUT, and is returning to research after being part of the university’s schools liaison team. She is contemplating undertaking research in into families with dual and multiple ethnicities, including aspects of identity and mental wellbeing and the choice of the language[s] in their homes.
We are very lucky to have these two new additions to our staff.
Below are photos, courtesy of Keilah Fox, and Jess Pasisi. Click on images to enlarge.