Formal welcome for new Ihonuku te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Associate Professor Jemaima Tiatia

Waipapa Taumata Rau on Monday 20 June officially welcomed the new Ihonuku te Moana-nui-a-kiwa, Pro Vice Chancellor Pacific, Associate Professor Jemaima Tiatia, in a pan Pacific ceremony at the Fale Pasifika.

Ihonuku te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, Pro Vice Chancellor Pacific Jemaima Tiatia and her Mum Joyce Tiatia

The new Pro Vice Chancellor Pacific, Associate Professor Jemaima Tiatia was formally welcomed into her new role at the Fale Pasifika on Monday 20 June. The welcome was a Pan-Pacific celebration which included a Cook Island Turou, aspects of a Fijian Yaqona ceremony and was led by Samoan, Tongan, Niuean and Cook Island staff and students.

It was an emotional morning that saw Jemaima flanked by her immediate and extended aiga. Alongside this was the Vice Chancellor Dawn Freshwater, members of the Pro Vice Chancellor Māori office, multiple senior leaders from across the university and Pacific staff and students in large numbers.

The seated ceremony was opened by the office of the Pro Vice Chancellor Māori with a mihi whakatau and then a lotu by Dr Therese Lautua. Following this was the Yaqona, being led by Fijian community member Malcolm Andrews with student leaders from across Pacific nations taking part in the ceremony. After the formal drinking of the Yaqona was completed, the celebration continued with speeches and a traditional siva Sāmoa by Jemaima herself joined by her aiga, staff and students.

Jemaima is the second Pro Vice Chancellor Pacific at Waipapa Taumata Rau and the first ever female in the role.