Television presenter and well known Maori personality Scotty Morrison has been appointed as the new Director of Maori Student and Community Engagement at Unitec Institute of Technology.
Morrison, who has been an adjunct professor at Unitec for the past three years, took up this new position on May 3 but will continue to present for TVNZ’s Te Karere programme.
“This is a new challenge for me but it’s something I’ve very excited about,” says Morrison.
“I have a strong passion to advance Maori education and success, and am fortunate to have already formed close connections with Unitec, which will enhance some new visions and directions for Maori studies at the institute.”
Morrison will look after the development of Unitec’s Matauranga programmes and short courses, Te Noho Kotahitanga marae and Maia Maori Development Centre set up to support Maori students studying at Unitec.
He has been tasked with raising the profile of Maori education both within and outside of Unitec.
Morrison is keen to build on the department’s strong evening classes in Te Reo, further utilise the use of Unitec’s marae that opened last year, and add a strong research component to his department.
“The ultimate goal is build on the present reputation of Maori education at Unitec and ensure that it continues to be known as a leading provider of Maori education and Maori support services.
“The foundations have already been laid, and I acknowledge the fine work of previous directors Ella Henry, Tui Ah Loo and Carol Ngawati. Now it’s up to me to build on what they have achieved already for Puukenga and Maia.”
Executive Director for Student and Community Engagement, David Coltman, is pleased Unitec has been able to appoint someone of Morrison’s experience.
“Scotty has been part of Unitec for some time now in a teaching capacity so to have someone of his expertise and knowledge around Maori education is fantastic.
“He brings fresh ideas on how we can better provide support to our Maori students as well as an understanding of what we as a tertiary provider need to do to ensure our students succeed.”
Morrison will relinquish his role as an adjunct professor but will continue to oversee the language programmes offered at Unitec.
FACT BOX ON SCOTTY MORRISON:
Scotty has presented Te Karere for the past seven years.
Scotty holds a Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor of Education and a Masters degree from Waikato University. He is well-known for his commitment and dedication to reviving and promoting the Maori language.
He has worked for Radio Waatea, as a talkback host, and has been involved with numerous television and radio productions from rugby commentary to documentary making.