Maori, News

Māori leaders recognised

HPF commends a new initiative by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence to celebrate and recognise the careers of three Māori leaders and visionaries, who have a long history of bringing about major social change and impact in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Professor Rawinia Higgins, NPM board member, says the new Ruānuku positions formally acknowledge the generous ongoing roles these exceptional Māori leaders have agreed to provide to NPM.

The three inaugural distinguished Ruānuku are: One of New Zealand’s most respected academics, Emeritus Professor Sir Mason Durie, who was a plenary speaker at last April’s 23rd IUHPE World Health Promotion conference co-hosted by HPF in Rotorua; Sir Tīpene O’Regan highly regarded Ngāi Tahu kaumatua and academic and award-winning Emeritus Professor Ngahuia Te Awekotuku who has been at the forefront of the women’s liberation movement in New Zealand.

“Our first three NPM Ruānuku … are esteemed scholars, visionaries in their fields, leaders in the life of our nation, and have brought about considerable social change in the lives of many Māori,” says Prof Higgins.

HPF’s Deputy Executive Director and Maori Strategist Trevor Simpson says the initiative pays homage to three outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions in their respective fields.

“Nga Pae o te Māramatanga continue to lead the way in terms of Maori advancement in research excellence. Building on this, the Ruānuku acknowledgements are a timely and appropriate way to recognise individual achievements at the highest level, over many years of effort. In all three recipients, we have wonderful examples of leadership, persistence and servitude not only to Maori but to wider society,” he says.


Professor Rawinia Higgins, NPM board member says the trio are “esteemed scholars, visionaries in their fields, leaders in the life of our nation, and have brought about considerable social change in the lives of many Māori”.

NPM recognised these inaugural appointments yesterday (Oct 22) as Māori and researchers from across the country gathered in Dunedin for the annual national Royal Society Te Apārangi Research Honours Aotearoa awards. At Te Tumu School of Māori, Pacific & Indigenous Studies, Māori senior students spoke about how these Ruānuku have influenced their studies and inspired their career choices.