Skip Content
Rangi Hinga, recipient of the 2023 Tāne Taylor Award and his moko, Elizabeth Kingi.

Not many people would think of taking up tertiary education in their 80’s, but that’s not the case for Rangi Hinga. The much-loved kaumātua is now in his fourth year of study at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

To add to his achievements, he is the 2023 recipient of the Tāne Taylor Award, receiving $3000 to go towards his studies. He was initially nominated by his moko, Elizabeth Kingi.

“It’s an absolute privilege studying alongside my papa. He’s an inspiration with how hard working he is. This journey has uplifted his mana and the ripple effect has uplifted our whānau and other tauira,” says Elizabeth who began her studies with her pāpā, Rangi in 2020.

Rangi grew up in an era where speakers of te reo Māori were punished. This resulted in him losing his reo, the language he was brought up speaking at home.

At 79, he enrolled in Te Whāinga o te Ao Tikanga with Elizabeth and began his journey to claim back the reo that he had always been proud of but was once afraid of speaking.

“When pāpā stood in our tikanga class to introduce himself, he had a piece of paper in his hand with his pepeha written down and his hands were shaking. I’d never seen him like that. It was a combination of not having his reo and the impact of being punished at school for speaking te reo Māori. Now he’s in an educational environment all these years later and we are encouraging him to speak reo Māori.”

Rangi and Elizabeth have since completed two te reo Māori programmes with Te Wananga o Aotearoa, He Pī ka Pao and Te Pūtaketanga o te Reo. Now at 82, Rangi is studying Te Rōnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi (level 5) with Elizabeth and her husband, who has been inspired to join them both on the journey.

With 6 children, 27 mokopuna and 43 great grandchildren, Rangi already has a big whānau, but he has also made a whole new whānau amongst the many tauira he has met and studied alongside.

“With pāpā being on this journey it has changed the dynamic of our whānau because everybody is immensely proud of him. His kōrero is; every class he’s in, he gains a whole new set of mokopuna.”

Rangi reluctantly submitted his own scholarship application after being encouraged by kaimahi of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. In his application he says, “as a pensioner, I like to think that studying is keeping me young and keeps my mind active.”

With the money that Rangi will receive through the Tāne Taylor Award, he hopes to purchase a new laptop, some printer ink, extra tutoring, and petrol to travel to study groups, all helping him continue to thrive in his studies.

“Pāpā doesn’t use his age as an excuse, he views himself like all other tauira. He doesn’t brag or show-off, he’s our beautiful and humble pāpā.”

Find out more about our programmes of study.

 Back to news & events

Published On: 11 Aug 2023

Article By: Cassia Ngaruhe

Other Articles

  • 3 October 2023

    Wānanga supports organisation with staff professional development

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has been able to support an organisation with professional development, offreing te reo Māori classes to a group of their Wellington based kaimahi.

  • 28 September 2023

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa kaiako attending 2023 Toi Kiri Festival in Tauranga

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa will attend the prestigious Toi Kiri World Indigenous Arts Festival in Mt Maunganui for the first time this year. Eight kaiako (teachers) will participate in the festival, which gathers indigenous artists from around the world to showcase their art.

  • 25 September 2023

    Tūwhitia Symposium drives student success for underserved learners

    This week Te Wānanga o Aotearoa will host organisations from across the tertiary sector as they come together for the second annual Tūwhitia Symposium, where they will discuss and explore ways that work towards the continued drive of positive outcomes for underserved learners in Aotearoa.

  • 25 September 2023

    Oranga Tamariki continues to improve Māori cultural capability with support from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

    With the support of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Oranga Tamariki is making a continuous and conscious effort to strengthen the knowledge and respect for Māori culture amongst their kaimahi, as well as a commitment to better fulfil their Tiriti o Waitangi obligations.