Acclaimed historian, Dame Anne Salmond was announced New Zealander of the Year at an awards ceremony last night in Auckland.
The Auckland University professor is the author of award-winning books about early Māori life and the first encounters between Pākehā and Māori.
The judges selected her as this year's winner because of the huge contribution she has made to NZ.
As a teenager, Dame Anne became intrigued with the Māori culture and learnt te reo Māori, and her appetite to learn grew from there.
Reporter: Ripeka Timutimu