Te Hui Whakapūmau

You can choose to attend Te Hui Whakapūmau instead of a Michael Fowler Centre ceremony.

Te Hui Whakapūmau is an official university graduation ceremony based on tikanga Māori (Māori cultural practices). Usually, this event is held at our university marae, however, redevelopment work being undertaken in that area means that for 2021–2022 the ceremony will be held in the Hub on Kelburn campus.

It will not lose any of its essence, and will continue to be a Māori celebration of success for graduates and their whānau and friends.


Seating is general admission and your whānau and friends do not require guest tickets. Because space is limited, we ask you to be considerate when choosing how many guests to invite. The Marae will contact you separately to ask for your whānau and guest numbers for catering purposes.

Additional requirements

The Hub is wheelchair accessible. Guests with a disability that require specific seating arrangements should email tehuiwhakapumau@vuw.ac.nz.

Live streaming

Whānau and friends unable to attend your graduation can watch the ceremony via live stream. Details will be available on the graduation homepage on the day of the ceremony.

The ceremony

  • Pōhiri / Formal welcome
  • Te kupu a te Manukura / Chancellor’s address
  • Te kupu o te rā / Guest speaker
  • Te karanga i ngā tauira / Presentation of graduates to the Chancellor
  • Ngā taonga a Ngāi Tauira / Presentation of gifts to the graduates by Ngāi Tauira
  • Te tuku i ngā tohu / Presentation of commemorative certificates
  • Ngā taonga a MAI ki Pōneke / MAI ki Pōneke PhD gift presentation
  • Ngā taonga a Ngāi Tauira / Presentation of gifts to the graduates by Ngāi Tauira
  • Te kupu a te Tauira / Graduate speaker’s address
  • Karakia whakapūmau / Ritual of affirmation
  • Karanga whakaū / Call of affirmation

The pōwhiri and ceremony last approximately two and a half hours. Kai hākari will be served immediately afterwards in the Hub.


Kāore Taku Raru is the official waiata of Te Herenga Waka Marae. It will be sung during the pōwhiri onto the marae.

Planning your travel

Parking around campus is limited and we recommend using public transport or taxis to travel to your ceremony.

Pay and display parks are available in Waiteata Road. It is a ten minute walk uphill from there to the Hub. We suggest you bring your kaumātua to Kelburn Parade (Gate 4) before parking. Allow enough time to get back to the Hub by 8.30 am.

Names and iwi affiliation

You will be announced by your first and last name as they appear on official university documents.

Your iwi affiliation will be read out as you collect your certificate.


If you wish to change the name that is read out when you graduate or you have a name that is likely to be mispronounced, you need to let us know. You’ll be emailed with details of how to submit your request.

It’s important that you help us with the pronunciation of your name as we want to ensure it is correct and that you have a positive graduation experience.


The University’s Image Services will photograph the ceremony. Individual photographs will be taken during the ceremony and a group photograph of all graduates will be taken after the ceremony. After the formalities, you can have group and whānau photographs taken.

Whānau are welcome to video and take photographs during the ceremony. However, during the pōhiri and Karakia Whakapūmau—ritual of affirmation—we respectfully ask that whānau refrain from filming or taking photographs.

Previous ceremonies

You can watch videos of the live streams from previous graduation ceremonies held at Te Herenga Waka marae.

Friday 21 May 2021, 9.30 am

Friday 11 December 2020, 9 am

Friday 11 December 2020, 1.30 pm