Te Tari o Te Tumu Ahurei | Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori provides strategic advice to ensure the University meets its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Professor Rawinia Higgins is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori and reports directly to the Vice-Chancellor, who is the University’s chief executive.

Her team have a variety of roles, from championing engagement with mātauranga Māori across and beyond the University, to project-managing the building of the Living Pā, and leading the Āwhina student support team.

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Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Engagement

Vice-Chancellor's Office

Professor Rawinia Higgins (Tūhoe) was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori / Tumu Ahurei of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington in 2016. Her research expertise is Māori language revitalisation, specifically language planning and policy.

Professor Higgins is a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, a Board member of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and the current Chair and Commissioner of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori—The Māori Language Commission. She is the first woman to be appointed to this position. In 2022 she was elected as a Pacific Region representative on the Global Taskforce for the UNESCO International Decade of Indigenous Languages. She is a Fellow of Te Apārangi the Royal Society of New Zealand, a Principal Fellow of the HEA and also holds an RSA/Cambridge CELTA qualification.

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Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Matauranga Maori) · Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Mātauranga Māori)
PVC Māori/Iwi Studies · DVC (Māori) team

Associate Professor Meegan Hall (Pirirākau (Ngāti Ranginui)) provides strategic leadership to increase engagement with Māori knowledge and people in learning, teaching and research contexts, and supports Māori staff and Māori student achievement. Her research focuses on Māori in higher education.

Meegan is a principal fellow of the UK-based higher education advocacy group Advance HE, a principal investigator for Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence, and an executive member of the Māori Association of Social Science.

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Rhonda Thomson

Pou Hapai - Senior Adviser · Co-project manager, Living Pā
PVC Māori/Iwi Studies

Rhonda Thomson (Poutini Ngāi Tahu) is the Pou Hāpai / Senior Advisor in the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor Māori at Te Herenga Waka―Victoria University of Wellington.

Rhonda is also a co-project manager of the Living Pā―a project that will see the University’s marae precinct redeveloped into one of the most environmentally responsible hubs in the world.

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Cecilia Tuiomanufili

Maori Scholarships and Relationships Coordinator · Pouhere
PVC Maori/Iwi Studies · Office of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori)

Cecilia Tuiomanufili (Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāruahine, Ngāpuhi) is the Pouhere / Māori Scholarships and Relationships Coordinator. She manages the scholarship funds for the Taihonoa programme, fostering engagement between the Iho (the university) and the Pae (iwi partners, Māori organisations, stakeholders).

Cecilia facilitates iwi-led initiatives that benefit tauira Māori on their education journey at Te Herenga Waka, and connects Taihonoa partners to Te Herenga Waka expertise for research opportunities and engagement.

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Linda Bowden

Executive Assistant and Office Manager
PVC Maori/Iwi Studies

Linda Bowden is the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori and manages the day-to-day operations of the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori.

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Tara Fisher

Mata Awhirangi / Manager (Maori), Awhina
PVC Maori/Iwi Studies

Tara Fisher (Waikato-Tainui) is the Mata Awhirangi / Manager of Āwhina. The Āwhina team help all tauira Māori make the most of their university experience and navigate our processes and services.

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Tu Temara

Mata Awhinuke (Marae Operational Manager)
Marae o te Herenga Waka

Tu Temara (Tūhoe) is the operational manager of the University's marae, Te Tumu o Te Herenga Waka. Tu is responsible for maintaining the kawa of Te Herenga Waka, for promoting tikanga and te reo within the University, and for providing cultural support.