Topic: Education

Māori academic wins supreme teaching excellence award

  • South Island

For the fourth year running, an academic from the University of Otago has taken out the Prime Minister's Supreme Award for tertiary teaching excellence. 

Last night the award was presented to Associate Professor Suzanne Pitama, Director of the Māori/Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI) at the University of Otago.

This award is considered the ultimate prize of the national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards held annually at Parliament. It recognises Pitama's commitment to tertiary learners and the broader community spanning a 14-year teaching career.

Associate Professor Pitama was one of the Kaupapa Māori winners while her Otago colleagues Dr Roslyn Kemp (Microbiology and Immunology) and Professor Rachel Spronken-Smith (Dean, Graduate Research School) received awards in the General category.

University of Otago Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne says she is elated that Associate Professor Pitama has joined the distinguished roll of Otago staff recognised through the Supreme Award.

“On behalf of the entire University community, I warmly congratulate Suzanne, along with Roslyn and Rachel, on their outstanding achievements. We are very proud of them all.

“The University’s ongoing success in these awards reflects Otago’s commitment to high quality teaching. Excellent, inspiring teachers such as these three are central to ensuring that we remain at the forefront of New Zealand universities in teaching, and continue to be held in high regard internationally,” Professor Hayne says.