The Prime Minister’s Supreme Award went to Dr Te Taka Keegan, a senior lecturer in the Computer Science Department at The University of Waikato. Dr Keegan was recognised for his outstanding sustained contribution to teaching and learning over a 30-year career, in which he has blended passions for te reo Māori and computer science. He is the only person in New Zealand who can teach a computer science paper completely in te reo.
Other highlights of Dr Keegan’s career so far include the management of the Niupepa Collection – the digitisation of a collection of newspapers that were published between 1842 to 1932, primarily in te reo Māori.
He has also previously worked with Google on the translation of their web search interface into te reo Māori.
The Awards are hosted at parliament by Hon Paul Goldsmith, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. Ako Aotearoa – the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence – administers the awards for the Minister.
12 other Sustained Excellence awards were handed out in addition to the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award – two in the Kaupapa Māori category (including Dr Keegan) and a further ten in the General category. All Sustained Excellence winners receive $20,000 and the Supreme Award winner an additional $10,000.
The Sustained Excellence award winners under the two categories include:
Professor Ursula Cheer – Dean of Law University of Canterbury
Dr Liz Ditzel Principal Lecturer, School of Nursing Otago Polytechnic
Dr Ruth Fitzgerald Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology University of Otago
Gail Harrison Manager and Lead Educator, The Whanganui Learning Centre
Dr Brad Hurren – Teaching Fellow, Department of Anatomy University of Otago
Associate Professor Ben Kennedy – Department of Geological Sciences University of Canterbury
James McKinnon – Senior Lecturer, School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies Victoria University of Wellington
Associate Professor Jay Marlowe – School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work The University of Auckland
Amy Raymond – Senior Academic Staff Member, School of Business Studies Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology
Haruko Stuart – Teaching Fellow in Japanese, Department of Languages and Cultures University of Otago
Kaupapa Māori category
Mereana Rapata-Hanning Principal Lecturer, Otago Polytechnic
Dr Te Taka Keegan – Senior Lecturer, Computer Science Department The University of Waikato (also the Supreme Award winner)