Friday Morning arrived, and it was time for our University Orientation.
This time in lovely weather we were treated to another Pōwhiri, at the Victoria University Marae – Te Herenga Waka – which means the “hitching post for canoes” – quite appropriate for a university campus, right? This space is an oasis on campus, and is used as a gathering spot, lecture hall and ceremonial space. The space is beautiful, and serves as a “melting pot” of sorts for all of the different iwi and waka, (essentially tribes or families) within Maoridom.
I was fascinated by the stories they shared with us about the carvings – and found lots more interesting information here, in the booklet from the Marae’s grand opening – if you are interested, as I was – it is definitely worth a read.
A few pictures from the Marae:
After our welcoming ceremony we were officially a part of the Vic U community. We took a tour of the campus, ending at the education buildings, a set of temporary tin buildings at 15 Waiteata Road. (The school of education has relocated from the former Karori Campus – and they are awaiting renovations on a new building to move there.)
I didn’t take many pictures as we toured the campus, unfortunately – but I am sure there will be an opportunity for that later – I do love the old buildings.
Once at 15 Waiteata Road, we had 2 sessions, one on our University Human Ethics Application, a requirement to do any research in New Zealand involving people – it is a detailed application, and will require some thought, time and real reflection about what my project, process and product will look like – this will be my task for much of the next two weeks. I am hopeful that I can get a draft done by Wednesday, then review it with my university supervisor before submitting it by the 24th. The ethics application will then be reviewed by the University Human Ethics committee, and any comments, necessary changes and revisions will be sent back to be to act upon. Ethics approval is required before I do any research, so it is pretty important that this get moving.
Our second session was lead by Pine (pronounced Pen-ae), who is the Principal Advisor to the Faculty of Education, and an amazing resource for information about Maori cultural matters, language and the like. Pine also undertook the laborious task of getting our access cards, log-on information and everything together so that we did not have to run around the university getting things settled – having done that before to get things settled on a university campus, I was very thankful for her work!
Pine then took us to our shared office space – called “the hotbox” in Block B.
It will be a nice place to work from when I need a place to write with fewer distractions than home – except – check out the view from the office window:
Yep – fewer distractions might be hard to come by!
Leaving the office I took some time to check out how the Faculty of Education has brightened up their space – so cute! I especially like the Tukutuku panels and the stories behind them, that I can only assume were a class project of sorts. Tukutuku panels are the traditional woven panels in the Marae, so the symbolism is important.
I walked home from campus, trying yet another path, always seeking the best avenue to get up there from up here.
The upcoming weekend is a weekend full of festivals and fun in Wellington – so more to come soon!