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Source: University of Otago

The Māori Centre’s new leadership programme is named after former tumuaki Pearl Matahiki.
The Māori Centre’s student leadership programme has created a new level and an award named in honour of one of its longest serving members.
Five tauira Māori have been selected to take part in the Ahi Kaa level of the Kā Rikarika a Tāne programme.

“Having this award named after her is a strong recognition of the contribution she has made to the University.”

The programme has traditionally been a three-year programme where students begin the Teina year before graduating to Tuakana and then Mataamua. Each year sees students take on further responsibilities and opportunities to showcase their leadership.
The Ahi Kaa level is an honorary level which will see five students in postgraduate or professional courses partake in a number of reflective exercises and events throughout the year to help them define what leadership means to them and the leadership style they are best suited to. This will include being mentored by people holding leadership positions in the community.
The five students will also receive the Pearl Matahiki Leadership Award, which includes a taonga and a $500 award.
The award was named after Matahiki, who left Te Huka Matauraka earlier this year after 18 years as the tumuaki (Manager) of the Māori Centre. She will return to present the award to the five students at a special prizegiving at the end of the year.
The Ahi Kaa leadership component has been two years in the making for Kā Rikarika a Tāne coordinator Ken Tipene (Ngati Rangi, Ngati Hine, Nga Puhi). He says naming the award after Matahiki, who will present the awards at the end of the year to the chosen candidates, is an obvious choice.
“Having this award named after her is a strong recognition of the contribution she has made to the University,” he says.
“The Pearl Matahiki Leadership Award is a great legacy that future tauira can connect with.”
Click here to learn more about Kā Rikarika a Tane.