Visit of Rohan Mudkavi, 76th Otaki Scholar
Rohan Mudkavi, the 76th Otaki Scholar, arrived in Ōtaki on 15 July and was welcomed with a pōwhiri at Raukawa Marae. The pōwhiri is seen as a significant event and is hosted by Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki Chairperson, Mr Rupene Waaka. A number of dignataries support this event including the British High Commissioner, the Mayor, Community Board members, Ward Councillor, members of the RSA, Merchant Navy including the Durham Association and the Royal New Zealand Navy.
Part of the proceedings following the pōwhiri was the handing over of the original photograph taken in 2008 which marked the commitment by the Department of Internal Affairs to commence all tours of the Otaki Scholar at Raukawa Marae. The photo was handed over by the British High Commissioner to Ngati Raukawa and will be situated in Te Whare Kai at Raukawa Marae.
The links between Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen, where Rohan is School Captain (Head Boy) and Ōtaki College continue to strengthen. Rohan was quoted by local paper, Ōtaki Today, as saying “Although our schools are so far apart geographically, there is still a strong connection between the two and I hope this connection lasts for years to come. Our strong relationship allows both schools to learn from one another and improve, ensuring that each school reaches its full potential. I think it’s amazing”.
Ōtaki is the first stop for Rohan on his six week trip around New Zealand. Highlights of his time in Ōtaki were the pōwhiri, tour of wahi tapu sites (sites of significance) with Matua André Baker, wreath laying at Pukeahu National War Memorial, Royal Society of New Zealand tour of the GNS Science Facility in Lower Hutt, a rough and torrid IRB experience compliments of Ōtaki Surf Club, Kāpiti Island Experience sponsored by Kāpiti Island Nature Tours and time spent with Ōtaki College Heads of School. See photos of Rohan's trip and read articles from the Ōtaki Mail and Ōtaki Today.