The head of Maori studies at Te Kura Matatini o Taranaki (the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki) is praising the new chief executive for acknowledging the special treaty relationship it has with iwi.
The Maori studies department has been running a number of cultural and language courses over the last 30 years with an emphasis on promoting Taranaki tikanga and reo.
Tumu Paearahi Te Ngaruru Wineera says the institute's chief executive, Richard Handley, has been critical to developing a stronger partnership with iwi and in recognising the mana of each tribe and the important role they have to play with the polytechnic.
He says Mr Handley has been the one who has ensured that the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT) starts looking at its treaty responsibilities and upholds them.
He says the chief executive has also ensured the tino rangatiratanga or self-determination of each iwi remains intact. Without that, he says, the polytechnic does not have any integrity.
Mr Wineera says, besides concentrating on the eight iwi within Taranaki, WITT is happy to extend its reach and include members based in Wellington and the north of the South Island.