Topic: Education

Pem Bird honoured for further services to Education & Māori

By Online News - Rereātea, Tepara Koti
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty
Pem Bird - Photo / File

Pembroke Peraniko Bird QSM from Ngāti Manawa is now a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Education and Māori.

In 2008, Pem Bird received the Queen's Service Medal for his services to Educaton, an area he continues to serve today.

In 2010, Bird was appointed to the Te Paepae Motuhake working group that advised on the development of the Māori Language Strategy.

Since 2012, he has been a member of the Minister of Education’s National Cross Sector Forum on Raising Achievement.

He has served on a number of other Ministry of Education advisory and reference groups, including the Education Funding Review advisory group from 2016.

He is the principal of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori Motuhake o Tāwhiuau in Murupara - which has a multilingual and multicultural curriculum, as well as the school being the first indigenous school in New Zealand to open a Confucius Classroom to teach Chinese language and culture.

He has led his school to sustained improvements in academic achievement, with his students performing at or above their national counterparts against the Māori Medium National Standards.

At the national level, Bird is past Chairman of Waka Moemoe, co-Chairman of Nga Kura a Iwi, past Chairman of Te Ha o Te Ora Creating Safe Communities, a member of the Bay of Plenty Police Iwi Advisory Group, and locally is Chair of several marae organisations.

In an earlier interview with Te Kāea, Bird impressed the importance of Māori students learning mulitple languages.  

“The Māori language, English, Spanish that's all good, Mandarin is all based on the concept that the world belongs to us.  That what our elders maintained.”

Here, he talks about Tāwhiuau's school trip to Japan.