The first of a string of graduation ceremonies of 2017 for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa tauira have been held in Te Waipounamu.
The graduations began at Ōmaka Marae in Blenheim, which held its graduation on March 4, followed by Te Aitarakihi Marae in Timaru on March 24 and Ōtautahi on April 1 at Riccarton Racecourse. Ōtepoti hosts its graduation ceremony on April 22 while Murihiku graduation will be in October.
Brenda Heke, Kaitohutohu – Whakauru at Ōtautahi, says the ceremonies have been a tremendous success.
“In Te Waipounamau, no matter how big or small the graduation, we celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of all tauira,” she says.
In Ōtautahi, two ceremonies were held to cope with the large numbers of tauira graduating, with Toi, Social Services and Business graduating in the morning followed by Reo Rangatira in the afternoon.
National Coordinator Kāpuia Pene Delaney says graduation is an important time for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
“This is our chance to celebrate tauira success and acknowledge the hard work tauira have put in during the preceding months and years,” he says.
“It’s also an opportunity for tauira to show their whānau what they have achieved and to celebrate together."
Throughout the country, almost 16,000 tauira are graduating from programmes ranging from Foundation to Masters level, and Pene says many will be continuing their learning journey with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa after receiving their tohu.
“While some tauira will be using their new skills to enter the workforce, for others, there are excellent opportunities to re-enrol in the next stage of their learning journey in Semester B.”
More graduation ceremonies will be held during the coming weeks at the following locations:
Tainui, April 20-21; Ōtepoti April 22; Whirikoka April 29; Tauranga May 5; Papaiōea May 18; Heretaunga May 19; Ōpōtiki May 20; Kawerau June 7; Māngere Jun 7-9; Whakatāne June 14; Rotorua June 16; Whāngarei June 28; Kaitaia June 29; Kaikohe June 30.