Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) welcomes the recognition given to our new patron Dr The Honourable Sir Pita R Sharples, KNZM, CBE (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi te Kikiri o te Rangi, Ngāti Pāhauwera) in this weeks Queen's Birthday Honours list.
The awarding of a KNZM (Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit) recognises the extraordinary contribution that Tā Pita has made to Māori and New Zealand, over the past fifty years.
From his early years in the education sector establishing the country’s first Māori language immersion primary school in Auckland, through to his work in helping to launch and then guide the Māori Party through its early years in Parliament, Tā Pita has had a long and illustrious career.
In his role as Minister of Māori Affairs he was instrumental in securing millions of dollars in funding for Māori initiatives across the sectors of health, education, housing, corrections, Treaty claims and social issues, however he often says that leading the campaign for New Zealand to sign up to the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2010 was his political highlight.
We look forward to Tā Pita's ongoing support and counsel as we work towards a revitalised and strengthened NPM in 2016, and beyond.
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga would also like to acknowledge one of our early Lead Researchers, Professor Elizabeth McKinley (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Ngāi Tahu) who received recognition for her services to education and Māori, in the same Honours List. Elizabeth was the recipient of an ONZM (Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit).