University of Auckland given new Māori name

By Mare Haimona-Riki

The University of Auckland has officially accepted its new Māori name, Waipapa Taumata Rau.

Vice-chancellor Dawn Freshwater says the new name better connects the university to where it's located and highlights its significant partnership with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

“It’s a really special moment,” she says.

“The new Māori name represents a point in time when the university's history, its relationship with the community and local iwi, and the past it brings forward is now looking to future generations understanding the importance of place and space.”   

This will replace the former more literal translation, Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei kaumatua, Taiaha Hawke says a deeper understanding of what “whare wānangameans had to be had.

“There are tohunga who have said it was wrong in the first instance for universities to use whare wananga because whare wānanga is a tuturu Māori iwi institution."

Hawke concludes that this giving of aMāori name is simply another example of the partnership Ngāti Whātua has with the university.

"We've had a presence here for some 30 or 40years, and this is a further demonstration of that relationship."