The former Minister of Māori Development Minister has gone back to his professional roots.

Te Ururoa Flavell has joined the teaching staff at Waikato University; his peers welcomed his calibre and the credentials of their new colleague in a formal pōwhiri yesterday.

Māori Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai elaborated further on what Flavell's new role will entail.

“Ko tōna tūnga ko te Professorial Teaching Fellow. Ko tērā pou he kaiako. He kanohi i mua i ō tātou tauira e pā ana ki ōna pūkenga, ā, ko tērā te Politics, ko tērā te Māori business, wērā momo mea katoa.”

At the pōwhiri, Professor Tom Roa said it was down to welcome back Flavell.

“Kāre i te mea hōu ki a mātou, me tētehi o ngā kaupapa o te pōwhiri nei, hoki mai, hoki mai ki tēnei o ōna kāinga.

But the Te Arawa descendant is no stranger to the place and says he couldn't be happier to be the student becomes the teacher.

“I noho ahau ki konei hei tauira i te wā i a Tīmoti mā, a Hirini mā, a Te Wharehuia mā, i konei a Te Rita mā katoa. Engari kua puta rātou, kua āhua mokemoke ahau ki a rātou engari kei te pai he Māori tonu kei konei.”

Roa also adds that Flavell's knowledge in Māori education will be invaluable at the university.

“He pūkenga anō ōna hei āwhina i ngā wānanga Pākehā o te whare wānanga nei ki te taha Māori.”

He has skills that can help non-Māori departments here on campus with engaging with Māori culture.

It's a part-time position with Waikato University, but don't think he's slowing down as he says he’s busier than ever.

“Ko tāku he noho hei tāngata e hiahiatia ana e ētehi kamupene, ētahi rōpū hei tuitui i te ara whanaunga o te Māori ki te Pākehā, Pākehā ki te Māori, Māori ki te Māori, Pākehā ki te Pākehā. I tōna mutunga, koinei tētehi o ngā pūkenga kei a au, te tūmanako ia ka whai wāhi au i roto i ngā nekeneke o te kāwanatanga pea o ngā kamupene, o ngā rōpū ā ngā tau kei mua i te aroaro.”

Proving there's life after politics.

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