Teripowai Higgins

Ngāi Tūhoe

Te Ripowai Higgins has taught and served students, staff and visitors of Victoria for 20 years. She began working as a Lecturer in the Social Work programme. Her knowledge and skill in te reo, tikanga and te ao Māori were quickly recognised and she was offered a lectureship in Te Kawa a Māui - School of Māori Studies. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer and held the position of Head of School for two terms.

During this time Te Ripowai also took up and continues to perform the role of Ruahine, the female leader of Te Herenga Waka Marae. As Ruahine, she ensures that the tikanga and the mauri of the marae are upheld. She enjoys and willingly shares her knowledge with students and staff at Victoria. She is in her element when hosting national and international visitors at the marae.

Te Ripowai has organised Te Hui Whakapūmau, the Māori Graduation Ceremony, for many years. These ceremonies are considered a highlight in the Marae calendar, and thousands of graduands have been able to celebrate their academic achievement with whānau, hapū, iwi and Te Whānau o Te Herenga Waka Marae. Te Ripowai currently holds the position of Taurima - Marae Manager of Te Herenga Waka Marae at Victoria.

Biographical sources

  • http://www.victoria.ac.nz/maori/about/staff/teripowai-higgins 4 November 2016


  • Te Reo Māori Physics Project, New Zealand Physics Teachers' Resource Bank. Wellington, N.Z.: MacDiamid Institute, Victoria University of Wellington, 2008.
  • Co-authors O R. Mercier, H G. Lukefahr, J H. Hannah, L. Richardson and T T. Cooper.
  • Non-fiction

  • "Becoming a participant: mature Maori experiences in tertiary education" Living and learning: experiences of university after age 40. Ed.Judith A. Davey, Jenny Neale and Kay Morris Matthews. Wellington, N.Z.: Victoria University Press (2003): 61-75.
  • Co-author M M H. Stephens
  • He pūtea whakanakonako. 3, He kohinga karanga. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, c2009.
  • Co-authors Te Ripowai Higgins, Kiri Henry and Hori Uatuku.
  • The changing values of Malays, Māori and Pacific Islanders. Wellington, N.Z.: Professor Dao' Dr. Wan Rafaei Abdul Rahman and Victoria University Foundation, 2013.
  • Co-author Wan Rafaei Abdul Rahman.