Topic: New Year's Honours

Māori recognised for achievement in New Year’s Honours List

By Te Kāea

A number of Māori have been recognised for their tireless efforts and contributions to their communities through the arts, education, health, community service, social development and business in the Queen's New Year`s Honours List. 

Robin John Cooper - Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Robin John Cooper, the Emeritus Executive of Ngāti Hine Health Trust has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of his significant contributions to Māori health, education and social development.

Cooper has worked tirelessly since the 80s and has championed a number of projects for the benefit of Māori, he served as the Chief Executive of Ngāti Hine Health Trust in Northland and played a key role in the establishment and opening of an internationally acclaimed Early Childhood Education Centre in Kawakawa. Offering Bi-lingual education to at least 100 children, Te Mirumiru Early Childhood Education Centre opened in February 2012 and operates from a new purpose built facility on the grounds of the Ngati Hine Health Trust in Kawakawa.

He has worked with the National Council of Māori Nurses, he was an Executive in Residence at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Māori and Pacific Health at the University of Auckland. Mr Cooper was appointed as Inaugural Chair of the Whanau Ora Governance Group in 2010.

Dr Monty Glyn Soutar - Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit 

Dr Monty Glyn Soutar has been appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Māori and historical research.

Soutar has been referred to as the foremost Māori scholar in relation to the study of warfare and the involvement of Māori in the World Wars. He worked with Māori Television recently to produce a documentary which looked at the role the Māori Battalion played in the Italian Campaign of World War II.

Currently he is the World War One Historian in Residence at Auckland War Memorial Museum, and is contracted to the Ministry of Culture and Heritage to write about Māori in World War One to form part of a ten volume series. In 2012 he was appointed to the First World War Centenary Panel. He helped establish Te Pouhere Korero (Māori Historians Association) in 1993 and has been the coordinator of the award-winning 28th Māori Battalion website.

Mr Kukupa Tirikatene - Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Mr Kukupa Tirikatene will also become an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his contribution to education and Māori.

For almost 40 years Mr Tirikatene has been a passionate teacher of Te Reo, Māori history and tikanga. He was the first Māori language teacher at Rosehill College in Papakura from 1976 and provided strong support for Māori parents and students.

He has composed a number of whakatauki and waiata and has been a Kaumātua for Ngāi Tahu Whānui at Te Papa Museum, particularly throughout the period of the Ngāi Tahu, Mō Tātou exhibition. He is a Senior Kaumātua of Ngāi Tahu ki Waipounamu, a founding member and Kaumātua for Ngāi Tahu Whānui ki Tamaki Makaurau, cultural advisor to the governors of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and a spokesman for the tribe at high level national events.

He is also a recipient of the Creative New Zealand Tā Kingi Ihaka Award, 2009

Colleen Elizabeth Urlich JP - Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Colleen Elizabeth Urlich JP has also been appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori art.

She is a founding member of Ngā Kaihanga Uku a group established for Māori contemporary Clay Artists which began in the 80’s.

Urlich has long been a mentor for younger artists, many of them now exhibit internationally, she is also the founder of the Māori Arts Collective of Te Taitokerau and a member of Te Atinga visual arts committee of Toi Maori Aōtearoa. She is also the founding curator of Toi Ngāpuhi, now the largest exhibition of Ngāpuhi and Māori arts in New Zealand and the flagship of the biennial Ngapuhi Festival in Kaikohe, which exhibits around 70 leading Māori artists.

Roma Ruruku Hippolite - Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit 

Mr Roma Ruruku Hippolite has become a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and Health.

Mr Hippolite has been a leading force in business and helped guide the Ngāti Koata Trust through two sets of Waitangi Tribunal Hearings. He assisted with the top of the South Island plan for addressing Māori crime rates and iwi-based organisations to achieve organisational effectiveness.

He has also assisted Māori health providers to review their services and entities and has provided performance improvement advice to healthcare providers. He has been a member and at times chairperson of several boards, including the Mana College Board, the Nelson Broadcasting Trust, the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, the Nelson/Tasman Primary Health Organisation, the Iwi Health Board, the Ngati Koata Trust, and Tainui Taranaki ki te Tonga.

Aroha Dawn Geraldine Campbell - Queens Service Medal

Aroha Dawn Geraldine Campbell will receive a Queens Service Medal for services to Māori.

She has served as a Trustee of Tauhara North No 2 Trust and has been CEO since 2005. She also played a major role in the establishment of the Nga Awa Purua geothermal station on Trust land, a joint venture with Mighty River Power. In 2013, the Trust’s net equity was $136 million and the increased cash flow from the Trust’s businesses has helped fund an array of support programmes for the Trust’s beneficiaries.

She has overseen ‘whanau weekends’, which were designed to bring beneficiaries together to build a sense of family. The Trust has also developed a range of education programmes, including the funding of Kip McGrath courses for children identified as below their reading age, and a number of camps for different age groups to teach practical skills and set goals.

Te Ariki Derrick Mei - Queens Service Medal 

Te Ariki Derrick Mei is also the recipient of a Queen's Service Medal for services to Māori in the Wairoa region.

Mei has worked with the Wairoa District Council for more than 20 years as the primary source of knowledge on the Māori language and Māori protocol.  He has used his experience in the education sector to act as a cultural advisor to local organisations. He has also been a member of the Wairoa-Waikaremoana Māori Trust Board since 2000, and is currently a mandated representative for the WAI 621 claimant group.

He contributed to the introduction of the programme from Te Whare Wānanga ō Awanuiārangi to many of the marae of the Wairoa district since 2005. 

Mr Mei also received an honour at the Ngāti Kahungunu Te Reo Maori awards which is bestowed only on masters of the language.

Hoana Pearson - Queen's Service Medal 

Hoana Pearson is another Māori recipient of the Queens Service Medal for services to Māori and education.

Pearson is the Principal of Newton Central School in Auckland, where she has served since 1994 when she was appointed Māori Senior teacher in the bilingual unit. Her distinctive service and achievements have been in the area of leadership to reduce the gap in educational outcomes for Māori pupils.

She has helped lead initiatives such as the development of a unique governance arrangement within the school, provision of extraordinary support to Ngāti Whātua ki Orakei by arranging for a satellite classroom at their Marae, the transition into a mainstream school where at least 20 per cent of the time all pupils learn in te reo, and the creation of a te reo Māori total immersion and bilingual programme.

She has worked closely with individual teachers to achieve best practices and has been recognised by the OECD Special Advisor on Education Policy for her achievements. 

Dr Susan Jane (Huhana) Hickey – Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit 

Dr Huhana Hickey has been honoured for her contribution to people with disabilities and heads her own company Pukenga Consultancy which provides and carries out research, advocacy and advice in all aspects relating to disabilities.

She is currently a Lecturer and Research Fellow at Auckland University of Technology’s Taupua Waiora Māori Health Research Unit and was the Lead Investigator for the Māori Development Research Centre.

Dr Hickey also coordinated the accessible Marae project for Te Rōpū Wairoa, the Māori Disability Self-Advocacy Group in 2009 and 2010. She was the indigenous people’s representative for the International Disability Association steering group caucus during the development of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She was also a foundation member of the Indigenous Disabled Women’s Researchers Network International in 2003.

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