New director eyes study options
Further study options and the introduction of a secondary teacher education programme are just some of the developments the new director of Whanga¯rei’s education campus would like to see.
Professor Stephen May is the new director of the University of Auckland’s Te Tai Tokerau campus in Whanga¯rei, replacing Professor Cindy Kiro who is now the Pro Vice-Chancellor Ma¯ori at the university.
The Whanga¯rei campus has existed for 25 years and offers a Bachelor of Education in both an English medium and Ma¯ori medium, with many Far North students going through the course.
May said he would like to see some development and has already introduced postgraduate course options out of the campus next year, with a particular focus on Ma¯orimedium education, and is looking at re-engaging in secondary teacher education in 2020.
“We haven’t offered it in a number of years, but we are going to re-offer postgraduate programmes based out of Tai Tokerau,” he said.
“There’s been a lot of growth in bilingual and immersion units across Tai Tokerau and a real sort of community driven demand for it. So we’re offering a range of courses that focus on that.”
May, who received the McKenzie Award at the recent New Zealand Research in Education Conference for his contribution to educational research, originally trained as a high school teacher and has been involved in teacher education for nearly 30 years.
He is a professor in Te Puna Wananga, UoA’s school of Ma¯ori and indigenous education, and his work is focused on issues to do with diversity, and Ma¯ori medium education.
“How did a Pa¯keha¯ boy from Otautahi Christchurch get into that? When I first started teaching, the head of Ma¯ori studies — a guy called John Manuel from Ngati Porou — took me under his wing as a first time teacher.
“I ended up getting involved in the Ma¯ori student teacher group and I got interested from that time. My honours degree was in social linguistics so I’ve always been interested in language.”
May said it was also important that more people were aware that the UoA had a campus in Whanga¯rei.
“That’s why I think the potential discussion in what we might do around the campus and its redevelopment is pretty critical. We know politically that Northland, Tai Tokerau, has been a region that’s been overlooked,” he said.
Professor Stephen May is the new director of the University of Auckland’s Te Tai Tokerau campus in Whanga¯ rei.