Ella Henry, a Senior Lecturer in Te Ara Poutama, has received a lifetime achievement award for her services to the film industry.
Ella is coordinator of the Maori Media major, one of the Bachelor of Maori Development majors. She was honoured with the Mana Wahine Award at the Wairoa Maori Film Festival, held at Kahungunu Marae in Nuhaka.
The award, presented jointly by Women in Film and Television NZ Executive Director Susi Newborn and the Wairoa Maori Film Festival organiser Leo Koziol, was a complete surprise to Henry, who was at the festival with students from AUT and delivered a workshop on iBooks as a marketing tool for film production.
When asked why she thought she had received the award, Henry says it was probably her involvement in the Maori screen industry over the last twenty years, in a variety of roles including as a practitioner, producer, and member of Nga Aho Whakaari, the association of Maori in screen production.
She has produced two documentaries, one in 1990 about the University of Auckland Maori Film Festival (the first of its kind in New Zealand) and the film makers who screened their work at the festival, and another in 2012, focusing on Maori producers, which formed part of her PhD. She is also the current Chair of Nga Aho Whakaari.
“I was previously a member of the Board of Women in Film and Television NZ, and deputy chair in 2009,” she says.
Susi Newborn, Executive Director of Women in Film and Television presented the award to Henry.
"Ella has worked as a writer, director, actor and producer, and it is a pleasure to be here tonight to present this to an outstanding film champion," she said at the gala.
It is however, completing her PhD that has been a highlight of Henry’s academic career. “Plus being able to teach, support and nurture new generations of Maori film makers through our course at AUT, and my involvement with Nga Aho Whakaari,” she says.
"I want to develop opportunities for Maori film makers to progress their careers and build Maori screen production capacity, which in turn makes a positive contribution to the revitalisation of our language, culture and identify.”
The seventh annual Wairoa Maori Film Festival was celebrated with over two hundred people gathered at Kahungunu Marae, Nuhaka, to celebrate the best of Maori and indigenous film making.
Forty special guest film makers were joined by film students from AUT and South Seas Film and Television School.
A group of students from the Te Ara Poutama Faculty of Māori Development have raised money for a good cause, while learning skills for their future careers.
Students doing the Management Processes paper, who are mostly studying for a Bachelor of Māori Development or Māori Media, recently had to plan and implement a fundraising event for Youthline.
Paper leader Ella Henry says the focus of the paper is to introduce students to management literature but then focus on it from a Māori perspective.
She says this project for Youthline was a great way to do this.
“They are learning about the management process but do it in a way that has some tangible benefit.”
She says the charity was chosen for its importance to young people and because of this they wanted to raise money and raise awareness about the work Youthline does.
Part of the project involved the students planning the event as well as making sure each student had a role.
The students had to develop a plan and budget, identify and allocate tasks, put in place control mechanisms and ensure evaluation of the event occurred.
They raised $200 for the charity in just two hours and also got plenty of names and email addresses from people who wanted to know more about the work done by Youthline.
“They really did an excellent job,” says Henry.
“They each gained some practical skills and confidence. This was an opportunity for them to do some practical management whist learning about relevant management theories.”
After the event the students visited Youthline to meet the staff and hand-over the money, then write up a brief summary about their specific tasks.
Te Ara Poutama’s Hohepa Spooner has received an international award from Apple that only three other tertiary educators in NZ can say they have achieved.
Hohepa is now part of The Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Program which began in 1994. Apple identified key educators from around the globe who were emerging as leaders in the field of educational technology.
There are 1500 ADE’s worldwide with only 20 in New Zealand. ADE’s are recognized by their peers and Apple as educational innovators and this is a perfect example of what Hohepa is to AUT.
As a digital leader at AUT, Hohepa has taken Apple’s technology into the classrooms. With his guidance, lecturers and students have been able to use iPods, iPhones and iPads in a learning and teaching environment at AUT.
Hohepa and the staff from Te Ara Poutama and Te Ipukarea have converted eight te reo Māori papers for online use, developed digital resources for te reo Māori and are constantly using and creating resources for iPods/iPads. He is currently working on making all the faculty hand books digital.
To Hohepa, this award only strengthens his relationship with Apple as he continues to work closely with Apple and the ADE Program.
“At the conferences I attend, it’s great to meet other people from different areas and see what they are doing with the technology. We all have access to the same technology but everyone uses it in a different way,” he says.
General Manager of the Apple division of Cyclone Computers, Graham Prentice, says the recipients of the ADE awards are exceptional people in the space they work in and Hohepa exemplifies this. “I just wonder why he wasn’t nominated sooner …” he says.
After completing a PhD with Te Ara Poutama, triumphant couple Dean Mahuta and Rachael Ka’ai-Mahuta will now be employees’ of AUT University. After acceptance of the job role, both are now employed in teaching at AUT for 2011.
Dean’s PhD thesis examined the facets of Waikato identity linked to the Waikato river and how the people and the river are inextricably connected. Rachael focused on Waiata and Haka and its importance in preserving valuable historical, political and cultural knowledge for Māori
The married couple have been appointed to teach within Te Ara Poutama as well as Te Wheke-a-Toi Fellows doing further research. In addition they are working within Te Ipukarea – The National Māori Language Institute on projects developing resources for the revitalisation and retention of Te Reo Māori.
As both are alumni of Te Ara Poutama they were familiar with the staff which made the transition from student to teacher a little easier.
"The AUT community is such a welcoming one and there is a strong feeling that you are a part of a big whānau – it makes for a fantastic working environment. Furthermore, the work done at AUT is so innovative, creative and exciting - we both feel very fortunate to be a part of it," Rachael says.
Dean and Rachael plan on continuing their research in Te Ara Poutama and Te Ipukarea.
Before studying at AUT Mr Husband wasn’t sure what he wanted to do exactly, but he did have a passion for the way that Māori were portrayed in the media.
Fast forward to present day and you will now find him as a Producer/Sound Technician for Radio Waatea which is an urban Māori radio station based at Ngā Whare Waatea Marae. He is the producer behind the live show ‘The Hustle Hour’ with Dei Hamo and Peiter T.
The latest publication from Author Professor Paul Moon uncovers the life of Haane Manahi who died in 1986 and was a proud member of the Maori Battalion.
Paul Moon, a Professor at AUT University’s Te Ara Poutama Department, goes into great depth in his latest book as he reveals the exceptional bravery of Haane Manahi during the Second World War. He follows the life of Haane Manahi and the courageous lengths he went to during the war.
Furthermore, Professor Paul Moon uncovers the events in which Haane Manahi’s medal was mysteriously downgraded to a Distinguished Conduct Medal.
This book can be found at The Warehouse or at Huia Publishers.
AUT University hosted the NSW Maori U17 Rugby League team during their recent trip to New Zealand to play the Northcote Tigers. Valance Smith, a Te Ara Poutama Lecturer, travelled to Australia in September to teach the NSW team (seniors) the haka.
He was delighted to offer AUT’s Nga Wai O Horotiu Marae as accommodation for the U17 team with the hopes of fostering a relationship with the brilliant team.
It was an opportunity for AUT to not only host these incredibly talented boys but to also show them the unique opportunities AUT University has to offer.
Colleen Leauanea-Takawaenga Maori, believes interacting with these boys on the visit "may inspire them to consider coming back to New Zealand (to study at AUT) as they will see the indigenous support AUT offers".
This kind of support is not yet on offer in Australia, and AUT University works well to accommodate the unique needs of Maori and Pasifika students.
The team was treated to a special presentation about studying at AUT from a Maori perspective and were also given a demonstration of Te Whanake, an online facility used to teach Te Reo designed by Professor John Moorfield.