Rauaroha was placed on Dr Samalia's shoulders by Associate Professor Karyn Paringatai
Dr Latika Samalia has been presented with the korowai Rauaroha to formally acknowledge the awarding of the Prime Minister's Supreme Award of the 2021 Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards.
Rauaroha was placed on Dr Samalia's shoulders by Associate Professor Karyn Paringatai, who was herself the Supreme Award winner in 2014. The korowai is a chiefly garment that recognises the mana of the Supreme Award and the person who receives it.
The celebrations at the Otago Museum's Hutton Theatre included a video of the award announcement by Minister of Education Chris Hipkins, and closing remarks and karakia from members of the Fijian and Fijian-Indian community. Friends, family and colleagues joined the event online and in-person.
Dr Samalia, of the Department of Anatomy, also received a Sustained Excellence Award in the teaching awards. Four of the nine excellence in teaching awardees were University of Otago teachers – Dr Samalia was joined by Tourism's Professor Hazel Tucker, Theology's Professor Tim Cooper and the Department of Management's Associate Professor Diane Ruwhiu (Kaupapa Māori category). Otago Polytechnic senior lecturer Hannah Joynt also received a Sustained Excellence Award.
The awards celebrate New Zealand's finest tertiary teachers as recognised by their organisations, colleagues, learners and broader communities.