National | Education

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa prepares to celebrate 35th birthday

TWOA Māngere Campus - Photo / Flikr

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWOA) has announced that it will celebrate its 35th birthday encased in a safe online bubble.

Founded in 1985, TWOA was the brainchild of Rongo Wetere and Iwi Kohuru (Boy) Mangu. The institution aimed to provide quality tertiary education for those who have fallen through cracks. Based on tikanga Māori, TWOA is now one of the largest tertiary schools in the country, teaching people from the four corners of the world.

TWOA Chief Executive Te Ururoa Flavell says it is fitting that the birthday of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is so close to ANZAC Day.

“Sir Apirana Ngata famously told the Māori Battalion that fighting on foreign battlefields was the price Māori had to pay for citizenship of this country.

"We owe it to those who served to remember them at this time, to honour the sacrifices they made and to continue the work they started,” he says.

“We are proud of our history and mindful that we are beneficiaries not only of our forebears but of the foresight and vision of our founding kuia and kaumātua.  We keep the stories of their sacrifice and perseverance close as a constant reminder of why we’re here.”

CEO Flavell acknowledged the challenges of the day, especially those that have transformed TWOA into an online school.