World’s first Masters of Māori and Indigenous Leadership to graduate
The world’s first graduates of the unique Master of Māori and Indigenous Leadership degree will receive their degrees
this week in the University of Canterbury’s December graduation ceremonies.
The new Master of Māori and Indigenous Leadership
(MMIL) is an applied professional programme dedicated to supporting the advancement of Māori and Indigenous
Its first graduates will be conferred with their degrees in the formal College of Arts graduation ceremony
on Wednesday 19 December in Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena. Their achievements will also be celebrated at the
Celebration for Māori graduates and graduands at the University of Canterbury (UC) on Thursday 20 December, in front of
whānau, the Māori community and the University.
This new qualification is designed for people wanting to strengthen their ability to step in to management and
governance leadership roles with responsibilities for delivering on Māori aspirations within Iwi, Māori, government,
community and private sector organisations.
Leading the MMIL programme is Sacha McMeeking
(Ngāi Tahu), the Head of Aotahi - School of Māori and Indigenous Studies
and Co-Director of the Māui Lab
“The aim of the degree is to make a significant contribution to the Māori sector by preparing emerging leaders to
envision and implement the aspirations of our communities; to equip future leaders with knowledge and skills, including
the ability to develop the breadth and applied skills necessary to excel in a strategic leadership role,” Ms McMeeking
Bentham Ohia has been lead lecturer of the MMIL programme for the last two years. Mr Ohia was chief executive of Te
Wānanga o Aotearoa for eight years. He was recently appointed Chief Advisor of Māori Iwi Relations at the Ministry of
Education. Mr Ohia congratulated the inaugural MMIL students on their hard work and wished them all the best for the
“Ultimately, we want to create the next generation of Māori leaders, from across Iwi, Māori and government sectors and
foster international Indigenous relationships around a cohort of Māori leaders,” he says.
Graduating MMIL with Distinction, Kari Moana Kururangi (Ngāi Tahu, Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe) already holds a Law degree and a
Bachelor of Arts (te reo Māori) from the University of Canterbury. The focus of her research was the dual-language
programme that she helped to develop at a new Māori-medium school – Te Pā o Rākaihautū. Te Pā o Rākaihautū is a unique
21st century pā wānanga (learning village) committed to educational success for the whole whānau, from early childhood,
primary and secondary schooling right through to tertiary education, on the one site.
Also graduating, with an MMIL with Merit, will be Te Rūnanga o Waihao representative to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Jo
McLean (Ngāi Tahu).