Topic: Matariki

Sir Mason Durie - a lifetime of achievement acknowledged at Matariki Awards

By Leo Horgan

Sir Mason Durie has been announced as the winner of the Te Toi o Ngā Rangi Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Matariki awards.

Sir Mason (Rangitane, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kauwhata) is one of New Zealand’s most highly respected academics, and was knighted in 2010 for his services to public and Māori health.

He hails from Fielding and attended Te Aute College in Hawke's Bay.

After graduating from the University of Otago in 1963 with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Durie went on to receive a postgraduate diploma in Psychiatry from McGill University, Canada.

Sir Mason Durie was appointed Professor and Head of Te Pūtahi-ā-Toi, School of Māori Studies (1988)  and Chair of Māori Research and Development (2002) at Massey University.

He also received a doctorate in Literature from Massey University (2003) and honorary doctorates in laws (2009) and health sciences from Otago University and Simon Fraser University respectively.

He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand since 1995 and a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit since 2001.

He also chaired the Taskforce on Whānau-centred Initiatives that formed the 2010 Whānau Ora report.

For over 40 years, Sir Mason has championed a ‘transformational’ holistic approach to Māori health and has played major roles in building the Māori health workforce.

His efforts have been recognised by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, the Public Health Association of New Zealand, the Māori Medical Practitioners Association, the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, and the Polynesian Society.

Sir Mason has achieved much during a lifetime of academic leadership for Māori and indigenous development and continues to regularly assist Iwi and Māori communities to realise their own aspirations for socio-economic advancement.