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Toro Mai introduced at three international venues

Rob Stevens, Professor Jan Thomas, Sir Jerry Mateparae and Professor Meihana Durie at the London event, held at New Zealand House

A Massey University initiative to connect global audiences with te reo Māori and Tikanga Māori was presented in Sydney, Melbourne and London last night and today.

Toro Mai is an online course that will be available free from September to those wishing to expand their understanding of Māori knowledge and language.

A collaboration between Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, the School of Māori Knowledge, and the University’s global arm, Massey University Worldwide, the course is aimed at whānau living overseas, but will be available to New Zealand residents.

A worldwide introduction was held on Thursday evening local time in London, Sydney and Melbourne.

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas and school head Professor Meihana Durie presented the course at New Zealand House in London to an audience that included New Zealand High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Sir Jerry Mateparae.

Hours earlier, to accommodate the different time zone, Assistant Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise Professor Giselle Byrnes explained the premise of Toro Mai to those gathered at the Australian Museum in Sydney. With her was renowned broadcaster and te reo Māori champion Professor Scotty Morrison of Te Arawa.

Simultaneously, College of Humanities and Social Sciences Pro Vice-Chancellor Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley introduced the programme in Melbourne with Stacey Morrison of Ngāi Tahu and Te Arawa.

Ngāti Rānana opened the London event

Massey Worldwide general manager Rob Stevens believes Toro Mai provides ex-patriate Kiwis the opportunity to embrace Māori knowledge. “Around the world, we’re seeing a renaissance of indigenous languages, including te reo Māori. Toro Mai gives New Zealanders all over the globe the opportunity to reconnect with the language, culture and values of Aotearoa.”

Toro Mai draws on the work of Professor Durie and will be taught via an immersive multi-media online platform. It has two introductory level courses in in te reo Māori and Tikanga Māori, each taking between 16 to 20 hours to complete.

More information is available online and interested students are encouraged to register for the programme.

Massey offers 200 programmes New Zealand citizens can study online from anywhere around the world, across 95 qualifications.

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