Te Pūtahi-a-Toi milestone marked


The opening of Te Pūtahi-a-Toi on March 8, 1997


Massey University’s School of Māori Art, Knowledge and Education, Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, celebrated its 20th birthday this week.

The striking Te Pūtahi-a-Toi complex, on the Manawatū campus, opened on March 8, 1997 and marked the coming of age of Māori studies at the University from its beginnings under Sir Hugh Kawharu in the Department of Social Anthropology and Māori studies in 1971. By 1988 Professor Sir Mason Durie headed a new Department of Māori studies but it would take nearly 10 years for the department to get a permanent home.

The opening of Te Pūtahi-a-Toi on March 8, 1997


Te Pūtahi-a-Toi lecturer Julia Taiapa had been at Massey only a year when the building opened and she remembers the excitement on the day despite the cold and rain. “Our hearts were warm. It was seen as a real milestone not only for staff and students but for Māori in this area and it forged a real connection with the local iwi Rangitane.”

The current Te Pūtahi-a-Toi building


This anniversary year also marks the start of a new era for the school with the completion of a whare kai building that will enable the complex to provide manaakitanga, or traditional hospitality to visitors, and the appointment of a new head of school, Dr Meihana Durie.

Te Pūtahi-a-Toi is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. It contributes towards programmes in the Institute of Education, also part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as Massey Business School and the College of Science.

 

 

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