While most of us enjoy the extra- long weekend, Tawhirimatea Te Auripo Rewita Williams will still go to work.
He never expected the honour awarded to him today. One morning whilst going through his paper work he came across a letter informing him he was to be made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. “I was shocked then read out the letter to my wife” says Mr Williams.
He didn't know till after reading the letter out to his wife Kaa Williams that she knew the whole time. “She told me that she helped them piece my profile together and I chuckled”, says Mr Williams.
Mr Williams is being honoured for his service to Māori and education. He has been involved in the education service for 47 years.
The couple were teachers at Ruatoki School before moving to Te Wānanga Takiura o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa where he is the tumuaki.