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Massey shines at Matariki Awards

Dr Kathie Irwin and Massey University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori, Distinguished Professor Hingangaroa Smith.

Massey Māori alumni and staff are shining in this year's Ngā Whetū Matariki Awards, run by Māori Television. The 24 finalists include Massey University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori, Distinguished Professor Hingangaroa Smith, and Massey alumna Dr Kathie Irwin.

Professor Smith, an internationally-renowned Māori academic and educator, joined Massey at the start of this year. Of Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Aitanga a Hauiti and Kāti Māmoe descent, Professor Smith has been a key figure in the development of kaupapa Māori in education.

He was chief executive of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in Whakatane for eight years before retiring in 2015. More recently, he was acting director of Te Pourewa Arotahi – the Institute of Post Treaty-settlement Futures at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, where he has engaged in research-informed iwi development projects. 

Professor Smith and Dr Irwin are finalists in the same category – Te Ururangi Award for Education. The award acknowledges significant contribution to the development of mātauranga Māori or the Māori knowledge sector.

Dr Irwin completed both her Bachelor of Education (Honours) and her Master of Education at Massey University. She is currently head of Māori and cultural capability at ACC and a former board member of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

Professor Smith and Dr Irwin feature in a Māori Television Matariki Awards special programme, which was broadcast in the run-up to this weekend’s gala awards ceremony. The award winners will be announced in a live broadcast from Eden Park on Saturday June  29, which will be co-hosted by Massey lecturer and broadcaster Stacey Morrison.

Previous Ngā Whetū Matariki Awards from Massey University include Emeritus Professor Sir Mason Durie who was given Te Toi o Ngā Rangi Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Matariki awards and Bachelor of Business graduate and mental health campaigner Ezekiel Raui, who received Te Whetū Maiangi Award for Young Achievers in 2016.

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