Whakapapa - History

From Massey’s beginnings, generations of staff and students have laid the foundations for Māori @ Massey.


Dr Ephra Garrett appointed as a lecturer. Dr Garrett ran the university’s first women’s studies course in 1978 and, with Merv Hancock, founded the Bachelor of Social Work programme in 1987. She worked to build a Māori dimension into teaching and research in the Departments of Social Work and Psychology.


Sir Hugh Kawharu appointed a foundation Professor of Anthropology and Māori Studies. The new programme emphasised te reo Māori and Māori culture and a suite of courses was made available to distance (extramural) students.

Professor Hugh Kawharu


Establishment of the Department of Social Anthropology and Māori Studies headed by Professor Kawharu. First two courses were 46.101 Introductory Māori language taught by Apirana Mahuika, and 46.112 Introductory Culture and Society taught by Te Pakaka Tawhai.

Apirana Mahuika     Te Pakaka Tawhai


Sir Ngatata Love appointed senior lecturer in management.


First Māori artworks. Four tukutuku panels woven by the Tawhai whānau for the Department of Social Anthropology and Māori Studies, SST.7.

Tukuku panels     Tukuku panels


Te Kupenga o Te Mātauranga Marae opened on the Hokowhitu campus and was the first marae to be established in any tertiary education institution.

Te Kupenga o te Mātauranga


The first Māori PhD student, William McMillan, graduates in agricultural science.

Māori Studies available as a major in the BA degree.


Professor Sir Ngatata Love appointed Dean of the Faculty of Business.


Sir Mason Durie appointed to a Chair in Māori Studies – now separated from anthropology. He reinvigorated the department’s curriculum by introducing Māori health and Māori development and strengthening te reo Māori and Māori visual arts.

Professor Mason Durie

The first Māori learning support position, Tama Piripiri, was established.


First ceremony to honour Māori graduates held at Manawatū campus.


Te Kuratini marae was opened as part of the Wellington Polytechnic. After amalgamation with Massey the marae remained a centre for Māori students and for formal university occasions such as graduation ceremonies.


Masters in Māori Studies available.


Te Pūmanawa Hauora (TPH), the Māori Health Research Programme within the Research Centre for Maori Health and Development established under Professor Chris Cunningham.


Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts degree offered.
Maori visual arts logo

He Pukenga Kōrero (A journal of Māori studies) first published.
He Pukenga Kōrero logo


New Te Pūtahi-a-Toi building on the Turitea campus was opened by the Māori Affairs Minister, MP Rana Waitai. Primarily as a home for the Department of Māori Studies but also to fulfill many of the functions of a campus marae and to reflect modern Māori design and symbolism.

Te Pūtahi-a-Toi building

Arohia Durie, a lecturer in education since 1989, was appointed to head Te Uru Māraurau, the School of Māori and Multicultural Education within the newly established College of Education (an amalgamation of the Palmerston North College of Education and Massey’s Faculty of Education). In 2001 she became the first Professor of Māori Education and led the development of a unique Māori medium teacher education degree programme, Te Aho Tātairangi, as well as introducing postgraduate courses, and a strong research platform that focused on Māori experience in the education sector, education policy, and community participation in schools.


Te Rau Puawai founded providing full fee scholarships for Māori students studying for mental health-related qualifications. By 2012 188 Te Rau Puawai students had graduated in nursing, clinical psychology, social work, rehabilitation and Māori studies.
Te Rau Puawai logo


By 2000 more than 3000 Māori students were enrolled at Massey, about half studying in distance programmes.

First three PhD graduates from Te Pūtahi-a-Toi. Taiarahia Black, Monty Soutar and Brendon Puketapu.

Te Pūtahi-a-Toi PhD graduates


Sir Mason Durie appointed as Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Māori) and developing a university-wide Māori@Massey strategy. Part of that strategy saw the establishment of Te Mata o Te Tau, the Academy for Māori Research and Scholarship to promote postgraduate study.

Professor Mason Durie

Professor Robert Jahnke takes over as Professor of Māori Studies.

Professor Robert Jahnke

Whāriki a multi-disciplinary Māori research group undertaking policy and community research and evaluation on a variety of health and social topics was set up by Helen Moewaka-Barnes.


Professor Taiarahia Black appointed Professor of Te Reo Māori. Professor Chris Cunningham appointed Professor Māori Health.

Professor Taiarahia Black

Te Au Rangahau a Māori business research unit was established under Farah Palmer.

Te Mata o Te Tau, the Academy for Māori Research and Scholarship established.
Te Mata o Te Tau logo

Māori@Massey strategy implemented.
Maori@Massey logo


Matua Reo Kaupapa (Māori Language Policy) approved.


Te Pumanawa Hauora received outstanding research team medal at Massey’s annual research awards.


Launch of cyber portal for Māori doctoral students.

Professor Mason Durie


Te Rau Whakapūmau target of 25 Māori PhDs in a decade exceeded by 15 with 40 Māori doctoral completions.

The inaugural Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards were held in 2009 to mark Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, Māori Language Week at Massey University. Designed to celebrate and encourage excellence in Māori literature and publishing and to recognise the contribution that Māori focused books make to New Zealand literary heritage.

Covers of books nominated for awards     Book awards winners


Sir Mason appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor a position he held until his retirement in 2012.

Massey received both the Māori Language Week award and the Supreme Award from the national Māori Language Awards.

Maori language awards


Te Rau Whakaara, a dedicated team of Māori learning advisors was set up.


Seven digitally polished and bead-blasted stainless steel pou (poles) were erected on the Albany campus at the forecourt of Student Central, each pou representing an aspect of education based on the legend of Maui’s search for knowledge.

Dr Selwyn Katene appointed Assistance Vice-Chancellor Māori and Pasifika.

Dr Selwyn Katene


Te Uru Maraurau, School of Māori and Multi-cultural Education merged with Te Pūtahi-a-Toi.

Te Aho Tatairangi, Māori medium teacher training 4 year degree offered.



Professor Rawiri Taonui appointed Head of School, Te Pūtahi-a-Toi.


Dr Charlotte Serverne appointed Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori and Pasifika.

Dr Charlotte Severne

Establishment of Pūhoro STEM Academy programme - the first of its kind in New Zealand. The academy, set up by Massey University with Te Puni Kōkiri support, fosters young Maori school pupils from Year 11 on their journey through to university, and ultimately the workforce. The programme works to engage with teachers and whanau to support the students’ science study in the Manawatū and Bay of Plenty and to build a wider community of Pūhoro students who share their passion for science.
Puhoro logo


Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas welcomed to Massey University.

Vice-chancellor Jan Thomas welcomed

Professor Meihana Durie appointed Head of School, Te Pūtahi-a-Toi. 

Professor Meihana Durie

Te Aho Paerewa: Postgraduate programme in Māori-medium initial teaching introduced. 

Toi-te-Ora, Wharekai opened. 

Toi-te-Ora opening     Toi-te-Ora opening

Te Putahi-a-Toi celebrates 20 years.

Te Putahi-a-Toi building     Te Putahi-a-Toi celebrates 20 year milestone

Associate Professor Scotty Morrison appointed to Chair - Te Reo Māori position.

Associate Professor Scotty Morrison


Te Putahi-a-Toi has a name change from School of Māori Art, Knowledge and Education to School of Māori Knowledge.

Te Rau Tauawhi – Māori Student Centre established to support Māori students throughout Massey University.

Te Rau Tauawhi staff

New Māori@Massey branding designed.

Maori@Massey logo

Massey to provide te reo classes to TVNZ staff.


Distinguished Professor Hingangaroa Smith is appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Māori.

Distinguished Professor Hingangaroa Smith

Te Wheke a Toi, the International Indigenous Centre for Critical Doctoral Studies is launched to enhance scholarly skill sets through building doctoral capacity and capability.


Professor Meihana Durie appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Māori.

Professor Meihana Durie

Contact us Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey