Distinguished Māori legal scholar Professor Jacinta Ruru (Raukawa, Ngāti Ranginui) has been appointed as the University of Otago’s first Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori.
Ko kopoua e te pūmātauraka ture Māori taiea a Ahoraki Jacinta Ruru (Raukawa, Ngāti Ranginui) ki te tūraka hou o te Whare Wānaka o Ōtākou (Ōtākou Whakaihu Waka) arā, te Pou Koko Māori tuatahi.
The new role was established to lead the Māori academic agenda of the University.
I whakatūria te tūraka hou kia arahina ai kā mahere mātauraka Māori o te Whare Wānaka nei.
As part of the Senior Leadership Team, Professor Ruru will work across the institution to strengthen Māori content, delivery and methodology in research and teaching, with inclusion of te reo and tikaka; recruit and retain Māori staff; enable Māori students to continue to succeed at the highest levels; establish and provide senior Māori academic leadership; help mātauraka Māori flourish; and provide more spaces and opportunities for Māori to be Māori.
Hai mema o te Tira Whakahaere Matua, ka toro atu kā rikarika o Ahoraki Ruru ki kā moka katoa o te whakanōhaka, kia kaha anō ai te matū Māori, te whakaratoka Māori me te tūāpapa o te rakahau me te whakaakoraka, tae noa atu rā ki te whakakuhuka o te reo me ōhona tikaka; a, ka kimi kaimahi Māori, ka pupuri ki kā kaimahi Māori; ka mātua whakarite te pikika akitutaka o kā tauira Māori, te whakatū me te whakarato i te arahitaka mātauraka Māori matua; ka tiria te māra mātauraka Māori kia puawai ai, ā, ka whakaritea he wāhi me he whakapikika mō te iwi Māori kia Māori ake ai rātau.
“The University of Otago is an amazing place to study and work and I’m really proud it has invested in creating this new position – it is an incredible honour to be appointed.
“He wāhi ako, he wāhi mahi whakamīharo te Whare Wānaka o Ōtākou, ā, whakahīhī katoa ahau ko whakatūria te wānaka nei tēnei tūraka hou – ko whakarakatira ahau i tēnei kopoutaka”.
“I’ll be seeking to accelerate many of the excellent initiatives and aspirations that are already in place at Otago, and build new initiatives especially to ensure the hauora and wellness of Māori staff and students to achieve in all they do,” Professor Ruru says.
“Ka aro atu au ki te tere whakakōkiri i ētahi o kā kaupapa whakatiketike, ētahi o kā wawata ko whai pakiaka kē ki Ōtākou, ā, ka hakaia ētahi atu kaupapa hou kia mātua whakaū te hauora me te oraka o kā kaimahi me kā tauira Māori kia eke ai rātau ki ō rātau tāpuhipuhitaka i ā rātau mahi katoa”.
Having joined Otago’s Faculty of Law in 1999, she will bring her extensive institutional knowledge and more than two decades of nationally recognised experience in Māori academic distinction and leadership to the role.
I uru atu ia ki te Kaupeka Tātai Ture i te tau 1999, ka kawe atu ia tana mātauraka whakanōhaka rakiwhāwhā, ōhona wheako mātauraka kōhure rua kahuru tau ko whakamihia e te motu, me ōhona wheako ārahi takata ki te tūraka nei.
Alongside her academic achievements, she has an array of Crown entity and community governance expertise.
Ki te taha o āhana whakatutukihaka mātauraka, he kirikawa hoki ia ki ētahi Manatū Karauna me te mana whakahaere o ētahi rōpū hapori.
Chancellor Stephen Higgs says Professor Ruru’s appointment is a significant step forward for the University.
Ko tā te Tumu Mātāmua, Stephen Higgs, he kakeka tāpua te kopouka nei ki te Whare Wānaka.
“Pae Tata, our Strategic Plan to 2030, outlines the University’s aspirations for the future. One of its goals is to strengthen our capability, capacity, and culture to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
“Ko tā mātau Mahere Rautaki 2030, ko Pae Tata, ka takitakina kā wawata anamata o Te Whare Wānaka. Ko tētahi o āhana whāika ko te aukahataka o tō mātau kakama, o tō mātau raukaha, o tō mātau ahurea kia whakamana ai Te Tiriti o Waitangi”.
“Having a senior leader, particularly of Professor Ruru’s standing, dedicated to promoting the wellbeing and success of Māori academic staff and students is a key component of achieving that goal,” he says.
Ko tāhana, “Ko te nohoka mai o tētahi rakatira, pērā te tū hiraka o Ahoraki Ruru, e whakaū atu ana ki te whakatairaka atu i te hauora me te akitutaka o kā kaimahi pūmātauraka Māori me kā tauira, he wāhaka matua o te tutukihaka tika o tērā whāika”.
Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Nicholson is thrilled to appoint someone of such high calibre to the position.
Hīkaka pai ana te Pou Koko Kapi a Helen Nicholson ki te kopou i tētahi wahine e pērā ana te pūmanawa ki taua tūraka.
“Professor Ruru has a proven record of academic excellence and governance which has had a positive impact on Aotearoa New Zealand. She is an inspiration to her colleagues and our students, and I know she will achieve a great deal in this role.”
“Rokonui pai ana te kouka o te mātauraka me te wheako mana whakahaere o Ahoraki Ruru e pāpā kākau pai ai ki a Aotearoa. He marutuna ia ki ōhona hoa mahi, ā ki ā mātau tauira rā anō, ā, e mōhio nei au ka eke ia ki tētahi taumata ikeike i tana noho ki tēnei tūraka”.
Upoko for Ōtākou Rūnaka Edward Ellison describes the creation of a Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori role as “very pleasing”.
Ko whakaahuria te whakatūtaka o te tūraka Pou Koko Māori e te Upoko o Ōtākou, Edward Ellison hai mea “whakararataka pai”.
“Mana whenua have long held aspirations to see such a prominent Māori position at Otago University, to see Māori academia leadership elevated and set the platform for growth and pursuit of excellence in Māori epistemology.
“E wawata roa ana a mana whenua ki tētahi tūraka Māori motuhake ki Te Whare Wānaka o Ōtākou, ki te whakahaere i te hāpaitaka atu o te rakatirataka mātauraka Māori, ko te whakatauka o tēnei tūāpapa kia tupu ai, kia rea ai, kia whai ai i te tū kouka o te wānaka Māori, o te kōrero Māori”.
“We acknowledge the University for the commitment to Māori and mātauraka that the position represents,” he says.
Ko tāhana, “Ka mihia te Whare Wānaka i tō rātau ū tou ki te ao Māori, ki te mātauraka Māori hoki e whakatinanahia ai te tūraka nei”.
Throughout her distinguished career, Professor Ruru has displayed vision and forged pathways for others.
Puta noa i tōhona ao mahi pūmau, ko whakaaturia e Ahoraki Ruru i tana tirohaka ki te anamata, i tana panapana atu o kā ara e taea ai e takata kē te whai.
She was the first Māori woman to be recognised as a fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi (at the same time as Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith), and Aotearoa New Zealand’s first Māori professor of law. She also co-founded Te Poutama Māori – Otago’s Māori academic staff caucus which celebrates Māori academic excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Ko ia te wahine Māori tuatahi kia whai wāhi ai ki te pae tauira matua o Te Apārangi (rāua tahi ko Ahoraki Linda Tuhiwai Smith i taua wā tou), ā, ko ia hoki te ahoraki Māori o te ture tuatahi. Nāhana Te Poutama Māori – te kāhui kaimahi pūmātauraka Māori o Ōtākou i whakapū, he ohu e whakanui ana i kā akitutaka mātauraka Māori puta noa i kā kaupapa e hia nei o te Whare Wānaka.
She has received many significant awards, including the University of Otago Sesquicentennial Distinguished Chair, the Prime Minister’s Supreme Teaching Excellence award, a local Kiwibank hero award, is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, is a Fulbright Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence senior Māori scholar, and received the University of Otago’s Distinguished Research Medal in 2022.
Ko whakawhiwhia ki a ia ētahi tohu whakahirahira, tae noa atu ki te Toihou Taiea kotahi rau rima kahuru o te Whare Wānaka o Ōtākou, te tohu o te Kouka Taioreore o te Mahi Whakaako o te Pirīmia, te tuahakata ā-rohe o Kiwibank, te Tohu Āpiha o Aotearoa, te Tauira Māori Matua o Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga me te Tohu Rakahau Taiea o te Whare Wānaka o Ōtākou 2022.
Professor Ruru recognizes the support of those around her throughout her career.
Ka mihia e Ahoraki Ruru te huka nā rātau ia i tautoko i te roaka o tana mahi ki te ao mātauraka.
“So many people have given me so many opportunities to work collaboratively and innovatively to strategically contribute towards creating a modern tertiary sector that makes sense to all, including Māori.
“Te tini me te mano o kā tākata ko tukuna he āheitaka motuhake ki a au ki te mahi kātahi, ki te whai i te auahataka kia whakapaua e au taku koi i a mātau e waihaka ana i tētahi ao whare wānaka mō te nāianei, tētahi ao whare wānaka e whai tikaka ana ki te katoa, tae noa atu ki te iwi Māori”.
“In particular, I acknowledge Otago’s Te Rōpū Whai Pūtake (Māori Law Students’ Association), Otago’s Te Poutama Māori and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.”
“Ina rā, ka mihia e au Te Rōpū Whai Pūtake, Te Poutama Māori me Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga”.
Professor Ruru will start in the role in late March.
Hai te whiore o Maehe a Ahoraki Ruru e tīmata ai ki te tūraka hou.