Topic: Business

Māori Chancellor keen to expand Māori economy

By Mānia Clarke

The first ever Māori Chancellor of Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa is keen to expand the potential in the Māori economy.  Michael Ahie (Taranaki, Ngā Ruahine, Ngāti Ruanui) believes the university, with its expertise in the agri-food and business sectors, is well placed to empower Māori through education.

The 12th Chancellor of Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa is wasting no time in making his aspirations known after being formally welcomed to the role.

Michael Ahie, (New Chancellor) says, “My vision is with our four campuses in Albany, here in Tiritia and in Wellington and our distance learning.  My vision for it is to reach out education to get to more and more people because it does make a difference to their lives.”

The Wellington-based businessman spent 18 years in corporate life before deciding to change direction.

Ruakere Hond, (Taranaki Iwi, Parihaka) says, “He hails from the many tribes of Taranaki, such as his ancestor Ngā Tai Rākaunui in Ōpunake in the Ngāti Haumia region. His skills are inherited from his ancestors, from their sphere of knowledge, who were taught in the ancient schools that were on the mountains.”

Tina Wilson, (Māori representative on Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa council) says, “Today is special because Te Ātiawa has come to bring their son Michael Ahie.  We're all fortunate to have a Māori in that position.”

Ahie was appointed to the university council by the Minister of Tertiary Education in 2012 and was deputy chair since 2013.

Hone Morris (Senior Lecturer) says, “More Māori are being elevated into high positions.  It's such an esteemed opportunity to encourage our Māori people at Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa, across our three marae within our regions of North Shore, Ngāti Whātua and Wellington.”

Ahie sat down for his first council meeting to plan the strategic direction of the university.