'He tau kua hipa, he tau anō kei mua - A year passes and a new one is before us
2010 for me as Ako Aotearoa’s Kaihautū Māori was a year focused on a very important event - Tuia Te Ako. The inaugural Māori tertiary education hui consumed a lot of time, energy and resource, and in retrospect the word inaugural meant that it was always going to be that way. That all paid off however, with a positive evaluation from delegates, supportive feedback from sponsors and a happy Ako Aotearoa Māori Caucus.
There were many highlights; the keynotes, the irrepressible MC Rangi Mātaamua, the hui dinner and entertainment but what stays with me is the wairua and energy that the delegates brought with them from all parts of Te Ao Māori. Pipitea Marae was filled with debate, with laughter, heaps of it, but most of all with aroha; a deep concern for current Māori learners and the future success of Māori tertiary education - something Ako Aotearoa will strive to support in our Māori programmes.
All of these elements and more, we hope have been captured in the soon to be released proceedings from the hui, He Takohanga Whakaaro (A Gift of Understanding). He Takohanga Whakaaro features transcripts of the keynote speakers, summaries from the workshops, photos and video. We expect to launch the publication in the coming weeks and will let you know as soon as it happens.
On a more sombre note, my end of year holiday was put on hold when I went to farewell a friend, colleague, scholar and fervent supporter of Tuia Te Ako, Dr Maaka Laws. Maaka died suddenly over the Christmas break and we are all the poorer for his passing. Amongst the tributes, the words "aroha ki tana whānau" were repeated constantly. This was a hallmark of the work I did with Maaka and in particular, Tuia Te Ako 2010. Moe mai e te hoa.