TWK 2023 awardee collage


Top tertiary educators and groups in Aotearoa New Zealand announced for 2023

5 September 2023

Eleven awards involving 26 awardees have been announced today for the 2023 Te Whatu Kairangi – Aotearoa Tertiary Educator Awards.

This unprecedented number of incredible tertiary educators have been recognised for their outstanding dedication, innovation, and excellence in teaching within the tertiary education and training sector.

The changes for the 2023 Awards have resulted in a greater diversity and representation in the awardees:

  • For the first time, two Le Moana Mua awards are presented to outstanding Pacific educators.
  • Groups made a strong comeback this year after nine years, with a total of 18 awardees involved in three very diverse groups.
  • A Private Training Establishment (PTE) has also been awarded for the first time since 2017.

2023 Te Whatu Kairangi Awardees

Kaupapa Māori Award - Group

Led by Professor Huia Tomlins-Jahnke, with Mari Ropata-Te Hei, Nadell Karatea-Kokiri, Hona Black, Te Rina (Krystal) Warren, and Rahera Filiata
Te Pūtahi-a-Toi | School of Māori Knowledge
Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa | Massey University

Kaupapa Māori Award - Individual

Dr Ēnoka Murphy
Senior Lecturer
Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao | Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies
Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato | University of Waikato

Le Moana Mua Awardees

Vijay Pillay
Pacific Healthcare Tutor
Healthcare Programme
New Zealand Skills and Education College

Filoi Genevieve Togiaso
Head of Department
Health Practice
Ara Institute of Canterbury | Te Pūkenga

General Awards – Group

Category: Progressing educational partnerships and collaboration

Ara | Te Pūkenga - Awanui Collaboration
Led Dr Grant Bennett with Heather Compton, Clare Hutchinson, Derek Chirnside, Alan Hoskin, Tracy Hutton, Marion Hale, and Elaine Rutherford
Ara Institute of Canterbury | Te Pūkenga and Awanui

Category: Progressing seamless ākonga transitions between contexts

CELS191 Teaching Team
Led by Dr Lisa Russell, with Andrea Brown, Dr Kim Watson, and Dr Keith King Health
Sciences First-Year Programme
Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou | University of Otago

General Awards – Individual

Category: Initiatives for progressing hauora and wellbeing in education

Associate Professor Anna High
Faculty of Law
Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou | University of Otago

Category: Progressing seamless ākonga transitions between contexts

Professor Philippa Martin
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury

Category: Innovation in learning, teaching, and curriculum

Melanie Wall
Senior Tutor
Te Kura Mātai Taiao | School of Environment
Waipapa Taumata Rau | The University of Auckland

Category: Advancing approaches to, and the outcomes of, work-based learning

Craig Goodhue
School of Trades and Services
Unitec | Te Pūkenga

Category: Achieving diversity and inclusion for improving outcomes for: Māori learners; Pacific learners; neurodiverse learners, and/or learners with disabilities

Dr Kate Schick
Associate Professor
Political Science and International Relations
Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington

Read the 2023 Awardees’ profiles here.

25 portfolios were received from a range of tertiary education organisations, including Te Pūkenga organisations and PTEs. The three-stage selection process involved initial assessments by external reviewers, shortlisting, and final decisions by an eight-person panel of sector representatives.

Ako Aotearoa is delighted to have recipients in all categories under the General Award this year.

“I would like to thank all the Reviewers and Panel members for their diligence in selecting this diverse range of awardees. It was a difficult task due to the quality of the portfolios overall. It is very exciting to hear about the impact that all the nominees are having on learners across the sector,” says Te Whatu Kairangi Selection Panel Chair, Derek McCormack.

The Awards ceremony will take place at Parliament from 3.30pm on Tuesday 26 September with the Minister of Education Hon Jan Tinetti as guest presenter. The ceremony will be available to watch live on YouTube or Facebook.

The Prime Minister’s Educator of the Year Award will be announced at the ceremony. This award is the highest accolade for a Te Whatu Kairangi awardee, and this will be symbolised with the presentation of the Rauaroha korowai by the previous year’s recipient, Professor Carolyn Gates.

“I congratulate all the awardees and thank their organisations for supporting and nominating them. It’s pleasing to see the diversity of individuals and groups achieving success in a wide range of categories,” says Ako Aotearoa Director Helen Lomax. “I am especially thrilled about the success of our two Le Moana Mua awardees in only the first year of this award being offered.”

Hosted by Ako Aotearoa, Te Whatu Kairangi Aotearoa Tertiary Educator Awards (previously known as the Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards) are the most recognised awards for the entire tertiary education and training sector in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Te Whatu Kairangi 2024 round will open in November 2023.

Related Content

Prime Minister’s Educator of the Year Award 2023 Dr Ēnoka Murphy

About the Awards

Find out about Te Whatu Kairangi | Aotearoa tertiary educator awards.

TWK 2023 awardee collage

Awardee Community

Since 2007, the awards have celebrated over 276 outstanding tertiary educators.

Te Whatu Kairangi

The prestigious annual Aotearoa tertiary educator awards.