Te Wānanga o Aotearoa welcomed its new chief executive today with a rousing haka pōwhiri at its Te Awamutu headquarters as Te Ururoa Flavell took up his new role as head of the country’s second largest tertiary organisation.
Te Ururoa is widely respected across Māoridom and the political spectrum and holds a Master of Arts in Māori Studies and Anthropology from the University of Waikato.
He is a strong advocate for te reo Māori and has always had a passion for education, being a former teacher and principal of St Stephens School and chief executive of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuirangi.
He said today he was committed to doing his very best in his new role as Te Taiurungi.
“I was humbled by the warm welcome by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa as I enter a new part of my life,” he said.
“And I was humbled by the number of people that came with me to support me in my new role and I trust the people who supported and spoke about me will be proud of what I achieve in this role.”
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa chair Vanessa Eparaima said she was delighted to appoint someone with the experience Te Ururoa brings to the role.
“Te Ururoa has a strong track record for his leadership and advocacy for Māori especially in education,” said Vanessa.
“He brings a reputation of hard work and leading from the front alongside a background of highly capable leadership.”
Te Ururoa replaces Dr Jim Mather, who did not seek reappointment to the role after five years in the job.
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has about 32,000 students and 1700 staff at more than 80 sites around the country. It provides education from certificate to masters and delivers 66% of all te reo Māori education in the tertiary sector.