Karakia (blessing) for new Tuākana space in Old Choral Hall

08 February 2018
Leilani Walker (SBS PhD student and daughter representing Matua Mike Walker) describes the importance of Tuākana to her own academic development and expresses her willingness to continue to whakatuarā (support) the programme.
Leilani Walker (SBS PhD student and daughter representing Matua Mike Walker) describes the importance of Tuākana to her own academic development and expresses her willingness to continue to whakatuarā (support) the programme. Photo: Charlotte Johnson

Matua Mike Walker’s vision and passion started the University of Auckland’s Tuākana programme in the School of Biological Sciences (SBS) 27 years ago. The heart of Tuākana for SBS was a room in the Old Biology Building, and over the years, it has seen hundreds of Māori and Pasifika students flourish in this nurturing environment.

From 2018, Tuākana is based in a larger, brighter space in Old Choral Hall. The programme enters a new phase of development under the leadership of Dr Brendon Dunphy, but still with the support and guidance of Matua Walker.

Michael Steedman (Kaiārahi, Faculty of Science) led the blessing of the new space, transferring the existing wairua (spirit), acknowledging those who have supported and passed through the programme and confirming our commitment to awhi (embrace) the programme into the future.

The sound of the pūtātara (conch shell trumpet) summoned all to witness and welcomed the new energies into the walls of the building. The blessing was concluded with karakia (prayer) and waiata (song).

Learn more about the Tuākana programme.