October 08, 2020
Matauranga Maori rated at doctoral level
Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi says highlighting Māori knowledge is an important goal of honorary doctorates.
This year the Whakatāne-based Māori tertiary body has granted Honorary Doctorates of Philosophy in Māori Development to long-serving St Joseph’s Māori Girls College principal Dame Georgina Kingi, Supreme Court Justice Sir Joe Williams and Ngāti Awa tribal leader and historian Te Kei Wilson Merito.
Wānanga chief executive Wiremu Doherty says Mr Merito had 25 years in the New Zealand Army, including service in Malaya, Borneo and Vietnam.
On retirement with the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major he went on to work for Whakatāne District Council and then the Department of Conservation.
Professor Doherty says even though he only had a primary school education, Mr Merito is a master of indigenous knowledge, especially of the Mataatua waka.
"Te Kei comes from a very clear mātauranga Māori space which we thought was clearly evident at the level of doctoral level so absolute honour to be able to bestow an honorary doctorate on Te Kei," Professor Doherty says.
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