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September 23, 2019 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Toitū te Ao: A Week of Celebrating a Better Future


Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori was themed “Kia Kaha Te Reo Maori”, or “let’s make the Māori language strong”. VUWSA combined this with Sustainability Week to create Toitū te Ao. 


Ngāi Tairua representatives said this “enabled the overall concept of kaitiakitanga to be shared, and that “it is these two kaupapa which indeed hold immense value to our Māori students, especially as tangata whenua.”


VUWSA also spoke about the importance of linking indigenous solutions to viable, local, innovative approaches to sustainability global issues.


The events ranged from panels to hīkoi to events. OpSoc held an event, with organiser Sophie Brooker emphasising the knowledge gained: “Mending and upcycling are vital skills to facilitate a transition away from fast fashion and achieve a circular economy.”


The hīkoi for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori was attended by many, with Ngāi Tairua highlighting the university’s connection with schoolchildren “who depend on our continuation of Te Reo Māori as our indigenous language”.


VUWSA noted the strong levels of participation and engagement at the market stalls at Te Aro on Tuesday, and at Kelburn on Wednesday at the expo day. Stalls were occupied by local businesses, organisations, and advocacy groups. 


The VUW Student Strike held banner-painting sessions at both marketplaces to raise awareness ahead of the march this week. 


Organiser Raven Maeder said, “It was inspiring to see everyone come together to celebrate the many ways in which we care for people and Papatūānuku.”


She added that she was excited “to show our leaders that we are united in our call for climate justice”. 


Generation Zero held a Climate Emergency Panel focusing on decolonising while sustaining a just transition, with speakers from Pacific Climate Warriors, NIWA, and Wellington City Council. 


The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals were translated into Te Reo Māori, and displayed in the Hub to demonstrate the university’s commitment to a local approach to global challenges. 



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