Respected academic and researcher Professor Rawinia Higgins has taken out the Te Waiti Award for te reo Māori and tikanga at this year's Matariki Awards ceremony.
Professor Higgins, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori) at Victoria University, is a widely acknowledged expert on the revitalisation of te reo Māori and has held many roles on boards, advisory groups and working parties.
She is currently a board member of Te Māngai Pāho and a Commissioner for Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori but has indicated her intention to resign from those entities in order to focus on Te Mātāwai.
She also has strong relationships with Māori communities and agencies and provides strategic advice that influences Māori policy development.
Professor Higgins has held many roles on boards, advisory groups and working parties during her career.
She is currently a board member of Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga Centre of Research Excellence and a member of the Waitangi Tribunal.
In addition, she is Deputy Chair of the Tertiary Education Commission’s Māori Knowledge and Development PBRF (Performance-Based Research Fund) panel.
With respected research expertise in Māori language planning and policy, Professor Higgins chaired the review that helped shape the Te Ture mō Te Reo Māori (Māori Language) Act 2016.