Skip Navigation LinksHome > News


Whaea Hema honoured with prestigious Manakura Award

03 May 2018

Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Manakura Award for 2017/2018. Te Hēmanawa (Hema) and whanau

Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi doctoral candidate Te Hēmanawa (Hema) Temara has been awarded the Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Manakura Award for 2017/2018.

The prestigious $50,000 award was bestowed for lifetime leadership and commitment to Māori. Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis, who chairs the Ngārimu scholarship fund board, said the Manakura Award is the equivalent to what would be awarded for a doctoral scholarship over two years.

“The Manakura Award is a gift to you in recognition of the sacrifices you have made for Māoridom that are characteristics of what the 28th (Māori) Battalion represented,” Mr Davis said.

Whaea Hema – who was an education officer and then marae and tikanga manager at Te Papa national musuem for 25 years – applied to the Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board for a scholarship to assist with her PhD studies in karanga at Awanuiārangi.

After careful deliberations the Board believed her exemplary service to whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori in general over her lifetime aligned more with the qualities of the Manakura Award, Mr Davis said.

Whaea Hema finished working at Te Papa last year to concentrate on her doctoral studies. “I have spent a year in research thus far – it’s been exciting, a roller coaster of a ride, and I’m enjoying it.”

She hopes her doctoral research into karanga will become a resource for younger generations. Of Tūhoe descent and raised in Ruatoki, Whaea Hema began as a kaikaranga at a young age with no formal training.

“No formal training whatsoever – but I grew up seeing my nannies and great grand-nannies doing it,” Whaea Hema said. “I was told to stop working at the back and go to the front – that the first manuhiri were mine. I don’t shy away from challenges, I gave it a go… but I made that busload of people wait for an hour because I didn’t know what to do. I looked to my grandfather and said ‘I need help, I don’t know how to do this’.

“Now I have no inhibitions because of what the old people taught me, and I want to pass on the gifts given to us. Karanga is a means of survival of our tikanga on the marae.”

The Manakura Award will be presented to Whaea Hema at a special ceremony in Monday, 26 March 2018 at Parliament.