NPM Researchers Recognised with National Awards

The Ako Aotearoa national tertiary teaching excellence awards were held at Parliament 10 September 2018, and two NPM researchers were recognised and honoured, together with other teaching practitioners from around the country.

Professor Michelle Thompson-Fawcett from the Department of Geography at the University of Otago and Associate Professor Mānuka Hēnare from the University of Auckland Business School both received sustained excellence awards in the kaupapa Māori category.

Ako Aotearoa outlines Michelle's recognition as follows; "Michelle was once described by her students as a “taniwha” – a mythical creature, often feared, but likewise something with mana and strength, presence and power.  This reference is a useful metaphor for her approach to teaching and learning.  She is passionate and engaging, a leader and innovator - kaupapa driven, and student-focused.  She encourages interaction and dialogue between herself and her students; providing opportunities for them to experience learning in real-world settings and environments, to relate theory to what they see around them and to real-world history and events".

Mānuka's award describes his focus and vision; "A whakataukī says ‘whāia te pae tawhiti kia tata, whāia tō pae tata kia maua’. Pursue your dreams on distant horizons, bring them close and so they may become your reality. That whakataukī encapsulates Mānuka Hēnare’s teaching career. Mānuka has shown outstanding leadership and innovation in developing indigenous business, knowledge and health education programmes. Mānuka led the organisation of the Māori Business Leaders Awards.

As an organic Gramscian leader he has built the tūrangawaewae communities from which the students originate and helped accomplish the emancipatory dreams of his students and their whānau, hapū and iwi".

NPM's congratulations go to Michelle and Mānuka on this recognition of their dedication and teaching careers. Ka mau te wehi!

For more information on this event and the awards, visit the Ako Aotearoa website here.