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Source: University of Waikato

The Ngā Tohu Toi Hau Awards for Māori student achievement were held on Saturday, with tauira Māori and Māori excellence recognised, honoured and celebrated.

The awards aim to highlight the top students across the university, including academic achievement and community contribution across all years, faculties and Divisions.

It’s also, according to Māori student achievement coordinator and organiser of the evening Ruameto Hamiora, a chance to come together in celebration before the end of the academic year. r.

“We know it’s heading into the crunch time of the year, with exams and final assignments due, so we take a couple of hours out on a Saturday night to celebrate our amazing tauira and all the mahi they’ve put in over the year.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori, Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai, says the awards are a way of recognising and celebrating all of the mahi students have put in over the year.

“Of particular note is the Te Manu Taupori award, because it’s not just about academic success. This award recognises the mana of the recipient and the time and energy they put into everything they do, from study to sport, kindness to kaupapa, and it’s open to nominations from the student’s peers.

“This year we have also introduced a new award, Te Manu Huia, that recognises the outstanding contribution made by a group or individual to the University. I’m delighted that this year’s winner was Māhia Mete-Smith, who is WSU Vice President Māori.

“We have such wonderful, dedicated and supportive tauira, it’s an honour to be able to recognise all of them and the work they have all put in over the last year,” says Sarah-Jane.

Recipients received a taonga designed by Nichola Te Kiri, and a certificate.