Ngā Purutanga Mauri
There was a strong desire during the early years of Te Wānanga o Raukawa development to acknowledge and give recognition to the special contributions kuia and koroua of Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Toa Rangatira (ART) Confederation were making to the establishment of our Wānanga, and the expertise they provided on the marae of the Confederation and iwi representation on the wider Māori landscape and its various forums.
A younger group felt they would like to see created something similar to the honorary doctorates that are conferred from time to time by universities on persons, recognising contributions of special scholarship. It became clear that while we wanted something similar we did not want to duplicate the non-Māori example. They were clear about who should be recognised and then needed to find a title to bestow on these individuals.
They eventually settled on the title “Purutanga Mauri” (keepers of the mauri) i.e. the mauri of Te Wānanga o Raukawa and the various marae of the ART Confederation. It was never the intention to burden elders who had already made significant contributions to the survival and life of the ART Iwi. It has been convenient to seek their advice to the extent that the current group meet quite regularly to advise on matters related to Te Wānanga o Raukawa. It should be remembered that they are installed by invitation of Te Wānanga o Raukawa.
Ngā Purutanga Mauri o Te Wānanga o Raukawa are the guardians of tikanga and kawa at Te Wānanga o Raukawa; and act as senior scholars and advisers on a range of issues important to its ongoing development. Ngā Purutanga Mauri meet monthly throughout the year; we are indebted to them for their contributions.