Official launch of Kāhui Irarau

Wednesday 31 May 2023

The official launch of Kāhui Irarau was recently held on the Wellington campus at Te Whare Pūkākā. This new social platform is specifically designed by and for takatāpui and rainbow communities at Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University. Kāhui Irarau is a safe space to support and share initiatives and content with our communities.

Last updated: Thursday 17 August 2023

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Students and Global Engagement Dr Tere McGonagle-Daly, Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue ki Maketu, says this event marks significant progress in creating a safe and supportive atmosphere for rainbow and takatāpui staff, students and alumni at Massey.

“The university's commitment to promoting diversity and equal opportunities is truly remarkable. Through various measures, we have been improving our initiatives related to inclusivity. While we have made significant progress in creating a safe and supportive atmosphere for rainbow and takatāpui individuals, we are always striving to do better.

“Engaging in open discussions with the community and working together towards positive change is crucial. Kāhui Irarau is a testament to our determination and progress towards a more welcoming and compassionate environment for all.”

Kāhui Irarau was developed over months of hui, kōrero and intention setting throughout 2022, and finally came to fruition in early 2023. Diversity and Inclusion Advisor Connor McLeod, Rangitāne o Wairau, says the launch is just the beginning of rainbow and takatāpui driven initiatives at the university.

“The launch was such a fantastic evening of connection and intention setting. We shared our aspirations to connect our people, work with the wider public, and recognise, respect, and enhance the mana of rainbow and takatāpui communities to almost one hundred people at the launch, including LGBTQIA+ activist, scholar, and politician Dr Elizabeth Kerekere and InsideOUT Workplace Services Manager Rosie Leadbitter.”

Wellbeing Advisor Rainbow and Takatāpui Ellyn-Rose Smith Whatley described the event as warm, welcoming, and “fabulous!”

“It was beautiful to see so many people together and embracing the mahi. It felt like it was a milestone for Massey, and the start of a beautiful era where we openly provide space and support for our rainbow and takatāpui communities.”

Those who worked tirelessly to bring Kāhui Irarau to fruition were also given a gift as a token of appreciation. A beautiful koha of framed photographs of the kererū, kākā, and tūī were gifted to doctoral candidate Ngawiki-Aroha Rewita, Ngāti Porou, Te Arawa, Ngāti Kahungunu and Te Whakatōhea, Pukenga Reo Associate Professor Hone Morris, Ngāi Te Rangitotohu, Ngāti Mārau, Ngāti Maru, Ngāi Te Ao Kāpiti, and Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts Creative Director Michael Kelly who were instrumental to the development of Kāhui Irarau. It was a special evening that acknowledged a range of people from the past, present and future that have worked so hard for rainbow and takatāpui students and staff at the university.

Kāhui Irarau is dedicated to empowering and uplifting the rainbow and takatāpui communities through a range of initiatives, including research seminars, community programmes, and fundraising activities. These efforts are aimed at embracing and honouring diversity while fostering a culture of inclusivity.

Kāhui Irarau can be found on Facebook and Instagram. For more information contact

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