Kuia, kaumatua thanked for their commitment


The Eastern Institute of Technology recently celebrated the contribution of kuia 'Nan' Makere and kaumatua Percy Hohipa, who are retiring after many years supporting the Hawke's Bay tertiary educator and its students.

Mr Hohipa joined the Faculty of Health Sciences 11 years ago as chair of its Komiti Kawa Whakaruruhau. His role grew to include guidance and support for staff and students at faculty whanau evenings welcoming incoming students, accompanying Maori nursing students to National Council of Maori Nurses-sponsored hui and taking part in on-campus powhiri. Mr Hohipa has served on many cultural, charitable and community organisations including the Pohaturoa Farm Trust, Te Reinga Marae Trust and Wairoa Taiwhenua Trust.

He is also on the Takitimu marae committee and the Hawke's Bay Regional Council's advisory committee and is kaumatua for Wairoa Hospital. Devoted to kapa haka since his youth, he toured North America in the 1960s with a Maori concert group.

Mr Hohipa worked for New Zealand Railways, in Auckland real estate and as a Youth Justice social worker. In 1994, he and wife Maida returned to Wairoa, where he continues to serve his community.

Widely known as Nanny Makere or Nan, Reverend Makere Paul-Hoetawa is retiring after 25 years service to EIT.

In 1987, The Maori Women's Welfare League approached EIT about the need for a kuia to support the School of Nursing's Maori students, and Rev Paul-Hoetawa was 'volunteered' by colleagues.

Dean of Health Dr Susan Jacobs says: "Although employed part-time, Nancy Makere has always given so much more of her time, providing cultural support to Maori and Pacific students across the faculty, supporting students on marae, lending her beautiful voice to waiata sessions, officiating at EIT's diploma and degree graduations and guiding and supporting staff and students with regard to Maori culture. Her work has always been marked by warmth and wisdom and an over-arching commitment to service."

An Anglican minister, Rev Paul-Hoetawa completed a degree in divinity through Poumanawa Matauranga Aotearoa when she was in her 80s. She has provided counselling, assistance and support for families as a long-time volunteer with the District Court and was an active Maraenui marae committee member. She was presented with a Napier City Pilot Trust award in 2000 and the Queen's Service Medal for services to the community in 2006.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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