Highly respected Kahungunu kaumatua Matiu Eru has received the Queens Service medal for dedicating almost 60 years of his life to tikanga Māori, leadership and services in Hawke's Bay.
Mr Eru told Te Kāea, "That's how we as Māori are, we help one another so that we don't lose our values. This is what I do every day, every week and so this acknowledgment is really just for the normal everyday work that I do all the time to help our language and tikanga live on."
He's a key figure in Hawke's Bay who provides cultural guidance at the Hawke's Bay District Health Board, Eastern Institute of Technology as well as his denomination as an Anglican Minister.
"I saw how Māori were being disadvantaged in the Pākehā world and so I wanted to really empower the youth through tikanga to uplift us as Māori."
He has worked tirelessly to help many learn Te Reo Māori including the Hawke's Bay Police and is a humbled by the award.
"Even though I don't know who nominated me I'd like to acknowledge them for this honour that they've bestowed upon me."
He grew up in Ruatoki with Māori has his first language and has 13 mokopuna and 18 great mokopuna.