Te whakatuwheratanga o Te Tumu Herenga Waka : 6 Tihema 1986, Poneke, Te Whare Wananga o Wikitoria
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all on behalf of Victoria University of Wellington to the opening of Te Tumu Herenga Waka.
Victoria University's new meeting house is a major step in this university's practical commitment to the development of Maori Studies and to the provision, on campus, of a turangawaewae for Maori students.
From its own resources the University itself met more than half of the building costs, the University Grants Committee contributed over $72,000 and the remainder was covered by donations. The Maori students themselves undertook a major fundraising effort, and their work was augmented by generous donations from Mobil Oil, Shell, Fletcher Challenge Trust, the Post Office, the Bank of New Zealand, the Victoria University of Wellington Students Association Trust, the University Union Building Funds and Mr Jack Ilott. In addition a major part of the costs associated with the decoration of the new house were met under schemes run by the Department of Labour.
Behind all this was the foresight and vision of people like Professor Sidney Mead, the late Mr Ruka Broughton and the late Dr Wiremu Parker. The dedicated work of master-carver Mr Takirirangi Smith and his team of workers, and that of Con Jones and his tukutuku workers has transformed an otherwise functional building into a magnificent decorated home. Our Grounds Staff under Mr Rob Smith created the surroundings almost overnight, turning a muddy building site into an attractive landscaped area.
Te Herenga Waka is the central place on campus where Maori values can be expressed. It provides a distinctively New Zealand dimension to the University. We take great pride, on the occasion of the opening of our meeting house, in the marae itself and the work done by Maori Studies staff and students.