7 Feb 2014

Otago University centre named after Maori leader

6:16 pm on 7 February 2014

A new residential facility named after a well-known Maori leader could attract more Maori students to the University of Otago.

The new college in Dunedin.

The new college in Dunedin. Photo: RNZ

The tertiary provider has named the facility, which will cater for 127 students mainly in their first year, Te Rangi Hiroa College.

University graduate Te Rangi Hiroa, who also went by the name Sir Peter Henry Buck died in 1951, and during his life was a doctor, military leader, politician and anthropologist.

The university's Director of Maori Development, Tuari Potiki, says he hopes the new facility will help lift Maori enrolments, which sit at about 25 percent.

He says the college has the potential to lift that percentage because of who it's named after, and represents his values.

Mr Potiki says it's an honour that the family granted the university permission to use the Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Tama man's name.

Te Rangi Hiroa College will be officially opened on Saturday.