May 02, 2023
Māori education lifetime mahi for Penetito
The Iwi Leaders Forum has granted one of the country’s country’s longest-serving Māori educationalists its Te Whare Pūkenga Award for his contribution to Māori education.
Victoria University Emeritus Professor Wally Penetito, who is now in his 80s, says he appreciates the acknowledgement, but in life you just do stuff.
He says New Zealand society is dominated by pakeha values and norms, but Maori are staunch and they keep pushing for what they want.
“The education system, if you think back to it, the first Education Act was to diminish Maori, to make English compulsory. It’s real weird stuff to do that to a whole people, especially people who are the tangata whenua,” Mr Penitito says.
He says it was a privilege to be part of the wider movement for Maori education.