position as a student city received a boost last night, when
the city's institutions dominated at the Tertiary Teaching
• Top marks for teacher
Half of the 16 tertiary teachers who received awards at last
night's event, held at Parliament were from Dunedin,
including the winner of the Prime Minister's Supreme Award,
Dr Karyn Paringatai, a lecturer at the University of Otago's
Te Tumu - School of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies.
The other Dunedin winners were from Otago Polytechnic,
including five members of its bachelor of culinary arts
Ako Aotearoa director and member of the awards committee
Peter Coolbear said Dunedin's success said a ''great deal''
about how much Otago University and Otago Polytechnic were
focused on high-quality teaching.
''It comes down to great people doing the teaching, but it
also comes down to the institutional support they get,'' he
Their success boded well for the city's ability to continue
to attract students, he said. Dr Paringatai, a performing
arts and language teacher, speaking when she knew she had won
the Kaupapa Maori category but not the top award, said she
was surprised to be recognised.
''When I was told it was absolutely amazing and humbling,''
Dr Paringatai aims to teach students to become proficient in
te reo Maori and confident performers of haka and waiata and
has revived the ancient practice of teaching in the dark.
She found teaching in ''total darkness'' allowed students to
perform without being embarrassed and enhanced their
listening skills - ''a song that used to take us maybe four
or five weeks for them to perform, they learnt in two
hours,'' she said.
She thanked both the university and her department, singling
out her dean, Prof Michael Reilly, for allowing her to take a
Vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne congratulated Dr
Paringatai for winning the supreme award.
''For Karyn to be recognised at this early stage in her
career with this honour is incredible.
''She fully deserves this national recognition and she has an
exciting future ahead of her,'' she said.
Last night's success marked the third year in a row an Otago
University teacher had picked up the supreme award.
Otago Polytechnic chief executive Phil Ker said it was
''fantastic'' so many of its teachers had been awarded.
''It's such a wonderful achievement for the recipients, each
of whom inspires and motivates their students through their
passion, expertise and a willingness to push boundaries,'' Mr
The Otago Polytechnic teachers to receive awards were the
bachelor of culinary arts team, made up of senior lecturers
Adrian Woodhouse, Daniel Pfyl and Tony Heptinstall and
lecturers David Gillespie and Stephen Ellwood; School of
Nursing principal lecturer Judith Roddick; and communication
design academic leader Caroline McCaw.
Each team or individual winner won $20,000 and the supreme
winner received an additional $10,000.