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Whitecliffe Welcomes CEO Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Rangimarie Hunia

Over 100 Whitecliffe College Bachelor of Fine Arts Year One students and faculty were given an insight into the historical stories, present developments and future aspirations for Ngāti Whātua, during a kōrero at the campus on February 22.

Rangimarie HuniaCEO of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Rangimarie Hunia, introduced the BFA students to the significant historical, cultural and social aspects of Tāmaki Makaurau and Ngāti Whātua. The talk was framed around an historical time line that mapped the developments and current initiatives Ngāti Whātua has contributed to in New Zealand.  Rangimarie emphasised the long-standing commitment of the Iwi to uphold the Treaty of Waitangi principals and maintain its core values.

Students gained significant insight into the role that Ngāti Whātua played in New Zealand history through their occupation at Bastion Point (1977), and had the opportunity to interact in meaningful discussion and gain an introduction to Te Reo Māori.

Since recently taking up her role as CEO for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Rangimarie Hunias aspirations include increasing the housing opportunities for her people, strengthening New Zealanders’ understanding of Te Reo and further developing the commercial skills of her tribe.

The invitation came as part of a relationship between Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei and Whitecliffe staff and family networks. The eldest son of the Whitecliffe family, Hayden Whitecliffe (Ngāti Pikiao, Te Arawa) along with Lea Te Huia-Eastwood (Tūwharetoa, Maniapoto) Whitecliffe’s Māori Cultural Support Coordinator (Pae Ārahi) has been working with whanau and staff members on establishing a formal relationship with the Iwi since 2017.

Photo credit: from l-r Year 4 Fine Arts Student Josh Thompson; Director, Academic (Undergraduate) Jane Henzell; President Michèle Whitecliffe; CEO Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Rangimarie Hunia; Māori Cultural Support Coordinator (Pae Ārahi), Lea Te Huia-Eastwood; Director Projects, Systems and Communications Hayden Whitecliffe.

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