TWOA welcomes new CEO Te Ururoa Flavell

By Mānia Clarke

Former politician Te Ururoa Flavell has a new role. 

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWOA) welcomed the Rangiwewehi son and his people as he takes up a new role as CEO of the country's second-highest tertiary provider, with almost 32, 000 students.

Flanked by a mass of supporters the former politician was handed over during the official welcome ceremony.

Accolades flowed from his former Māori Party colleagues and kin alike.

"I'm really humbled by the acknowledgments from my former political colleagues, from Māori Party members and my relations," says Flavell.

Rongo Wetere was the first Tumuaki and founder of TWOA along with Boy Mangu. 

Betham Ohia took over as Te Pouhaere, and Flavell replaces the former Te Taiurungi, Jim Mather.

"Under his leading we want the learning aspirations of our students to excel, drawing from the wealth of his education experience before he entered into politics," says TWOA Poutiaki Tikanga, Paraone Gloyne.

Gloyne also says Te Ururoa leads from behind, meeting people face to face.

"One, Te Ururoa is seen amongst the people, he is well-known," he says, "Two, he'll pick up a tea-towel and knows how to wash the dishes."

Flavell will consult with staff and students ahead of formulating the direction of the wānanga ahead of the new year.