18 Feb 2022


Kia ora e te iwi,

Unfortunately the red level restrictions has meant that the pōwhiri to welcome tauira māori attending Otago University into the rohe of Ōtākou was cancelled.  In an attempt to combat that, a prerecording from manawhenua, our VC David Murdoch, Te Huka Mātauraka The Māori Centre, Koro Hata Temo and our four divisional Academic Dean Māori has been produced.  That will be launched on 21st February – the day the pōwhiri at Ōtākou was to occur.

This is not enough though.  It is vitally important that our tauira start their year understanding who and where their supports on campus are and for tauira Māori, that can start with the Māori Centre.

What we know is tauira that join with us on campus enjoy significant success – more so than those that do not.  This is particularly so for our Health Science tauira.  Whānau of those tauira are also missing out on who their contact on campus is in the event that their pēpē is struggling at all – again that is the Māori Centre.

To assist us in getting the pānui out to our tauira māori and their whānau I am asking if this email can be shared with your hapū. 

What we would encourage tauira to do is like our Facebook page in the first instance https://www.facebook.com/MaoriCentre , watch the pre-recording that is to be released, have a look at our Whānau Guide https://www.otago.ac.nz/otago706198.pdf  and as soon as you can and go into Te Huka Mātauraka The Māori Centre 515 Castle St and say kia ora to the Whāea and Mātua in there.  We cannot wait to meet them!

This semester in particular is going to be difficult on top of what is already historically difficult.  Homesickness will become prevalent soon after arrival – a condition not to be understated as it can set a course of negativity however, to come into the warmth of the Māori Centre whare and whānau will help to alleviate that immediately. 

Please encourage your pēpē to go into the Māori Centre or speak to any of our team as they see them on campus especially if they are not in a residential hall this year.  My team and I are incredibly dedicated to these tauira – we will make a positive difference to their experience at Otago.  Please encourage them to reach out to us or if they are too shy, contact me directly.  I will got to them personally.

And finally as the Māmā or Pāpā, Whāea or Mātua, Taua or Poua, tuakana or teina please don’t hesitate to contact me for any questions or concerns.  My details are all below.

Me te aroha, noho ora mai rā.

Michelle Taiaroa-McDonald | Kāi Tahu

Te Huka Mātauraka | The Māori Centre
University of Otago | Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo
Tel/Waea 64 3 479 8490 | Mobile/Waea pūkoro 64  021 2795762

Te Huka Mātauraka, 519 Castle Street North, Dunedin | Ōtepoti
PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054
New Zealand | Aotearoa

Website/Pae tukutuku www.otago.ac.nz/maoricentre