UH Manoa Welcomes New Chancellor from New ZealandUniversity of Hawaiʻi
External Affairs & University Relations
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer
The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa welcomed it‘s new chancellor, Peter Englert, today in a traditional ceremony of chanting, hula, gift-giving and speeches in Hawaiian, Maori and English, as a delegation of officials from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, "delivered" him to UH Mānoa. Englert served as pro vice chancellor at the university before accepting the chancellor position at UH Mānoa.
Englert is noted for his experience in nurturing diversity and access, and established Victoria University of Wellington‘s first Whanau support group for Maori and Pacific Nation students. Enrollment of Maori and Pacific Nation students has increased continuously since 1999 at the university, where Englert has been since 1995. The university also recently graduated its first woman Maori student with a doctoral degree in physics.
To honor him for his service and support of Maori and Pacific Nation students, Victoria University representatives contacted UH Mānoa‘s Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies Director Lilikala Kameʻeleihiwa expressing their desire to formally hand over Englert to Native Hawaiians at the University of Hawaiʻi with this traditional Maori ceremony.
"Dr. Englert comes from the Victoria University of Wellington with high recommendations from the Maori, our Polynesian cousins," said Kameʻeleihiwa. "We felt deeply touched that they wanted to present him to us. In the ceremony, the Hawaiians and Maori will honor the ancestors with chant, hula, speeches and protocol."
According to Kameʻeleihiwa, today‘s ceremony marked the first time a University of Hawaiʻi administrator had been presented by the people of Polynesia to the Native Hawaiians.
Englert was received by Kameʻeleihiwa and representatives from various Native Hawaiian student groups and programs at UH Mānoa and other UH campuses. Also participating in the ceremony were UH President Evan S. Dobelle and UH Regent Walter Nunokawa.
The delegation delivering Englert included Stuart McCutcheon, vice chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington; Piri Sciascia, associate vice chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington; Te Ripowai Higgins, head of the School for Maori Studies at Victoria University of Wellington; Liz Richardson, deputy dean of equity for the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Architecture and Design at Victoria University of Wellington; Shona de Sain, associate dean of students for the Faculty of Science at Victoria University of Wellington; and Dierdre Dale, chief executive officer of Whitireia Community Polytechnic.
Following the ceremony, Englert and his staff were accompanied by Kameʻeleihiwa and Kealiʻi ʻolu ʻolu Gora, director of program and community development for Hālau Kū Mana, for a blessing of the Chancellor‘s offices in Bachman Hall.