Three new life members have been inducted recently into Te Matatini.
Stalwarts of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga, Tāwhirimātea Williams, Kaa Williams and Mark Joseph Harawira were named as the new life members at the Te Matatini AGM on Thursday.
In 2017, Tāwhirimātea Williams MNZM and his wife Kataraina (Kaa) Williams QSO were recognised for their lifetime contribution to strengthening Māori art and culture with Te Tohu a Tā Kingi Ihaka.
For more than 50 years, Williams was a successful teacher, principal, teacher educator and kapa haka tutor.
With his wife Kaa, they started the first bilingual and then total immersion Māori medium school in Aotearoa.
He is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Māori and Education.
Kaa Williams has had a distinguished career in education and Māori broadcasting for more than 50 years.
She has worked for Māori Television in several roles, and has also been an examiner for Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.
She is a Companion of the Queen's Service Order (QSO).
Tawhiri and Kaa Williams finalists for Waka Toi Awards - Te Kāea, Aug 2017
Joseph (Joe) Harawira is also a keen advocate of te ao Māori, and is the chairman of the St Stephen's Old Boys Association who is working to reopen their school in 2020.
Harawira is also renowned for his many years of mahi with the Department of Conservation and the Kāhui Kura Taiao Network.
Eleven nominations in total were submitted for this year's Te Matatini Life Members recipients.