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Te Kei 2023 Dr Wahineata Smith Arianna Nisa-Waller image

Dr Wahineata Smith (left) and Arianna Nisa-Waller (right) at the Wellington wananga at Te Ahi Karamu Marae at Massey University in Wellington.

Dr Wahineata Smith (Ngāti Korokī Kahukura, Waikato, Ngāti Ranginui), from Te Tumu, Te Kete Aronui Division of Humanities, and PhD candidate Arianna Nisa-Waller (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāpuhi) who is based in Kōhatu Centre for Hauora Māori in the Division of Health Sciences, have been selected for the prestigious 12-month career development programme Te Kei.

Te Kei is run by Te Pōkai Tara, Universities New Zealand, and is the first Māori academic development programme to be offered across all eight universities in Aotearoa.

“It is a true privilege to have been chosen for this and I want to acknowledge the programme’s proactive investment into supporting and developing Māori,” Nisa-Waller says.

“Having the chance to meet early to mid-career Māori academics from other tertiary institutions was amazing because this enabled us to develop together and build a strong network.”

Te Kei includes a three-day wānanga, guided by Mātauranga Māori, where participants stay at Te Rau Karamu Marae at Massey University in Wellington.

Te Kei 2023 group image

The 2023 cohort of the Te Kei programme, which aims to help Māori pursue academic careers and increase their leadership capability.

Dr Smith and Nisa-Waller attended the wānanga in August, learning from the experiences of prominent Māori academics, leaders, and tertiary sector experts while there.

They also did a considerable amount of career planning and self-reflection, so that each attendee might have practical goals moving forward, connect with other participants, and build their networks with iwi and other industry professionals.

“All of that came from just the three-day wānanga - we have eight more online hui for this year’s programme and I’m genuinely excited for what further learnings and opportunities they will bring,” Dr Smith says.

“I hope Te Kei continues growing because programmes like this are imperative for academic institutions like Otago realising their aspirations of being Tiriti-led, as well as growing their Māori academic workforce,” Nisa-Waller says.

-Kōrero by the Division of Health Sciences Communications Adviser, Kelsey Schutte.

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