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Graduation surprise proposal

Waipounamu-Kara-and-Te- Karohirohi-Kira-proposal

Waipounamu Kara proposes to Te Karohirohi Kira at graduation

Emotional displays are nothing new at Massey University’s Celebration to Honour Māori Graduates in Palmerston North but no one was expecting a student to seize the opportunity to make a grand romantic gesture at last Thursday’s ceremony.

Waipounamu Kara, Ngāpuhi / Raukawa / Tainui and his partner Te Karohirohi Kira, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa / Kāi Tahu / Muriwhenua /Ngāpuhi ki Whaingaroa-Ngāti Kahu ki Whaingaroa were both graduating from Massey’s postgraduate Māori medium teaching and learning diploma programme Te Aho Paerewa, when Waipounamu took the chance on stage to surprise everyone going down on one knee to propose.

To the delight of the large crowd in the Regent Theatre, Waipounamu Kara got the response he was after from Te Karohirohi Kira.

The couple from Havelock North were among 15 students being honoured at the ceremony which follows the main Massey graduation where 18 Te Aho Paerewa students graduated, swelling the ranks of much needed Kura Kaupapa teachers.

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(From left) Te Karohirohi Kira and Waipounamu Kara with their child


Mr Kara currently works at The Terrace School Waipukurau, while Ms Kira cares for their baby who will turn one in the next few weeks.

Massey’s Ceremony to Honour Māori Graduates provides students with an opportunity to celebrate their academic success with whānau and friends in a Māori way and is renowned for its stirring haka and waiata tautoko (songs of support). But this is the first time the audience has been brought to tears by a marriage proposal.

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