First Otago graduation for Te Wananga O Aotearoa

Dunedin’s Kokiri Training Centre manager Lynette Collins Watson and Shanaya Driver (12) model...
Dunedin’s Kokiri Training Centre manager Lynette Collins Watson and Shanaya Driver (12) model some of the korowai (cloaks) that will be worn this Saturday by students. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Maori education provider Te Wananga O Aotearoa will hold its first graduation ceremony in Otago on Saturday.

One of the largest tertiary education providers in the country, Te Wananga contracted the Arai Te Uru Kokiri Training Centre, in Macandrew Rd, Dunedin, to run its Te Ara Reo Maori programme since 2007.

More than 50 people will be presented with certificates in Te Ara Reo Maori Year 1.

The number of people enrolled in the course has quadrupled this year.

‘‘It has filled a niche, and the course has been extremely popular,'' Kokiri business development manager Arana Collett said.

More than 200 people had enrolled to learn Te Reo in 2008, and it was ‘‘pleasing to see it has been embraced in the South'', Mr Collett said.

Sixty people will receive certificates and diplomas at the ceremony, which will be held at the Otago Museum on Saturday from noon.

The guest speaker will be Te Tai Tonga MP Mahara Okeroa.

In addition to the Te Ara Reo course, other Te Wananga students will be awarded certificates in small business, and diplomas in tertiary teaching, which were taught in other provinces.

‘‘The graduation will be a great day, and it will be a coming together of people from the Wananga, politicians, guests, families, and students from as far afield as Canterbury and Southland all being part of this special occasion.''

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