Whitecliffe Welcomes CEO Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei as Guest Speaker to Start off 2018 Academic Year

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Whitecliffe Welcomes CEO Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei as Guest Speaker to Start off 2018 Academic Year

Rangimarie Hunia was invited to Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design on Thursday 22 February to present the historical stories, present developments and future aspirations for Ngāti Whātua and within her role as CEO of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. The kōrero took place at Whitecliffe College of Arts and was well received by over 100 Bachelor of Fine Arts Year One Students and Faculty.

Rangimarie Hunia introduced the BFA students to the significant historical, cultural and social aspects of Tāmaki Makaurau and Ngāti Whātua. The talk was framed around an historical time line that mapped the developments and current initiatives Ngāti Whātua contributed to; and within New Zealand. Rangimarie emphasized the long-standing commitment of the Iwi to uphold the Treaty of Waitangi principals and maintain its core values. Students gained significant insight and knowledge into the role that Ngāti Whātua played with New Zealand history through their occupation at Bastion Point (1977).

The students actively engaged in the talk and raised some insightful responses to Rangiemarie by interacting in meaningful discussion and gaining an introduction into Te Reo Māori.

Since recently taking up her role as CEO for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Rangimarie Hunia’s aspirations include increasing the housing opportunities for her people, strengthening New Zealanders understanding of Te Reo and further developing the commercial skills of her tribe; to become the future leaders and entrepreneurs within the creative industries in Auckland, New Zealand and the global environment.

The invitation came as part of a relationship between Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei and Whitecliffe staff and family networks. The eldest son of the Whitecliffe family, Hayden Whitecliffe (Ngāti Pikiao, Te Arawa) along with Lea Te Huia-Eastwood (Tūwharetoa, Maniapoto) Whitecliffe’s Māori Cultural Support Coordinator (Pae Ārahi) has been working with whanau and staff members on establishing a formal relationship with the Iwi since 2017.

We would like to thank Rangimarie for her inspirational talk on Thursday 22 Feb and to Ngāti Whātua Orākei for their continued support to assist us in strengthening our cultural community at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design.

Bio – Rangimarie Hunia

Rangimarie is the Chief Executive of Ngāti Whātua Orākei Whai Maia, the organisation charged with advancing the tribe’s cultural, social development and environmental aspirations. The team is involved in ecological restoration, environmental planning, language revitalisation, tourism, arts and design, health and wellbeing, education and supporting whānau wealth creation.

Ngāti Whātua Orākei are a sub-tribe of Ngāti Whātua based on the Auckland isthmus of New Zealand: a narrow stretch of land bounded by the Tasman Sea to the west and the shimmering Waitemata Harbour to the east.

The Ngāti Whātua o Orākei people are now scattered throughout the world however their home-fires (ahi ka) are centred around their ancestral marae, Orākei - a mere 10-minute drive from the Central Business District of New Zealand’s largest city – Auckland and Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design.

Rangimarie has held a number of governance roles in commercial, Iwi, social enterprise and education areas as well as running her own business and holds a Masters of Commerce.

Nāku te rourou, nau te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi

Photo credit: from l-r Year 4 Fine Arts Student Josh Thompson; Director, Academic (Undergraduate) Jane Henzell; President Michèle Whitecliffe; CEO Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Rangimarie Hunia; Māori Cultural Support Coordinator (Pae Ārahi), Lea Te Huia-Eastwood; Director Projects, Systems and Communications Hayden Whitecliffe

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