Maori Party Statement regarding Resignation of Dr Rongo Wetere, Tumuaki of Te Wananga o Aotearoa
Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader, Maori Party
15 December 2005
The Maori Party today acknowledged the significant contribution Dr Rongo Wetere, ONZM, has made through his leadership
of Te Wananga o Aotearoa.
"Dr Wetere has led a virtual revolution of the mind, in the way in which Te Wananga o Aotearoa has elevated dramatically
Maori interest in tertiary education" said Dr Sharples, Co-leader of the Maori Party.
"The role for Mäori at the Wänanga has been created to give Maori ownership of their destiny" said Dr Sharples. "Rongo's
entrepreneurial leadership of that institution has created an entity for people, Maori and Pakeha, who have been failed
or by-passed by the system, and for that this nation must be eternally indebted".
"What is remarkable, is the way in which Te Wananga o Aotearoa has truly become an institute of learning for all of
Aotearoa - and which has reached out internationally to places such as Cuba, a nation which has one of the highest
literacy rates in the world, and that is despite the sanctions against it, by the most powerful nation in the world"
said Dr Sharples.
"Dr Wetere has contributed to kotahitanga in Aotearoa by bringing together, under the umbrella of a single institution,
Mäori and Pakeha. The Wananga itself is an expression of rangatiratanga, offering paths of self-determination for all
"The Maori Party commends the way in which Te Wananga o Aotearoa has become known for cultural diversity, for
entrepreneurship, for nation-building. It has become the intellectual beacon to which the dis-enfranchised and the
working classes have gravitated, as they strive to emancipate their minds from the mental poverty imposed upon them by
"Rongo Wetere has made creative and innovative contributions to the nation through Te Wänanga o Aotearoa. His impact on
the educational landscape of this country has been immense".