November 16, 2015
Education union honours language champion
The Tertiary Education Union has honoured Taranaki kaumatua Huirangi Waikerepuru for his lifelong commitment to protecting and promoting Te Reo Maori and indigenous rights.
National secretary Sharn Riggs says Dr Waikerepuru, who recently retired as the union’s tauheke, had a major influence on the evolution of the union’s strong bicultural structures.
His activism has encompassed a wide range of issues, especially the status of te reo Maori and the need for Maori broadcasting.
"Lobbying for Maori radio stations and the creation of Te Mangai Paho were very much due to the work he did so he has been really critical in (reviving) Maori language and of course in his own area of Taranaki, the work he has been doing in protecting that dialect there and promoting its use has been enormous as well," Ms Riggs says.
The Tertiary Education Union also gave Auckland University Law Professor Jane Kelsey an award of excellence for academic freedom for her actions in researching, analysing and opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and other trade deals.
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