Display case for korowai installed
In a tradition that began in 2014, a korowai (cloak) named Rauaroha is placed around the shoulders of the Prime Minister’s Award winner at each Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards dinner hosted by Ako Aotearoa. Since 2015, this ceremony has been performed by the previous year’s winner. The award winner becomes the kaitiaki or guardian of Rauaroha until the next awards ceremony.
So that the mana of the korowai can be shared with the holder’s colleagues and students, a display case has been made which will be sent to the institution of each successive Supreme Award winner as a place for Rauaroha to be stored and displayed when not being worn by the kaitiaki.
Accordingly, the case has been delivered this year to the Christchurch office of the current kaitiaki Suzanne Pitama, Associate Dean Māori, Director of the Māori Indigenous Health Institute Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago.
Rauaroha is a chiefly garment that recognises the mana of the supreme award and the person who receives it. It is made entirely of muka (flax fibre) and bird feathers by Te Atiawa weaving expert Veranoa Hetet.
Rauaroha may only be worn by the current supreme award winner at formal events, such as conference presentations, to signify the rangatiratanga of the wearer.
Find out more about the Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards