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Mihi Whakatau

Mihi whakatau is the Māori term used to describe a formal speech of welcome and is undertaken by a Māori representative of the University. Mihi whakatau is traditionally used for welcoming, introductions, openings and general purpose which take place off the marae.

A mihi whakatau is a speech (or speeches) of greeting made during an official welcome to acknowledge those gathered together for a particular purpose. While a pōwhiri is a ritual of encounter used on the marae, in this area of Otago (i.e. in the takiwā of Araiteuru), a mihi whakatau is reserved for a welcome which is conducted off the marae (for example, to open an event or conference at the University).

If you require the services of a Māori staff member or representative for a marae-based pōwhiri, please use the same form and identify this accordingly.

University of Otago staff and students can engage in these services for all occasions, particularly when welcoming visitors to campus, to open new buildings or premises, as well as other events.

Please ensure requests are submitted at least two weeks prior to the event to allow time for consultation and any additional follow up. Once your application has been received, an automated response will confirm receipt of your application and a staff member will be in touch within 48 hours to confirm availability.

Request for Mihi Whakatau

  • i.e. Vice chancellor: Harlene Hayne, Minister of education: Hekia Parata etc.
  • i.e. Room 405, Level 4, Richardson Building, Otago Campus. If off campus, please provide full address details.
  • i.e. The department would like a mihi whakatau to greet our 3 special guests (detailed above) and to formally bless the opening of our new research programme. We would like to acknowledge our private sector funder, Shell Oil, and programme champion, Dr G Smith. We would like the mihi whakatau to take place before the Vice-Chancellor speaks at the very beginning of the ceremony.