Former Massey University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Emeritus Sir Mason Durie will this week receive three new awards in recognition of his contribution to indigenous and public health.
At the New Zealand Population Health Congress in Auckland on Monday he became an Honorary Fellow of the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine. Then on Tuesday, at the Health Promotion Forum and congress awards dinner, he was presented with the inaugural Toitoi Manawa award for health promotion. His daughter, Awerangi Tamihere, accepted this award on his behalf, as Sir Mason was on his way to Vancouver, where on Friday he will receive an honorary science doctorate from Simon Fraser University for contributions to indigenous health.
Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says the awards recognise the enormous contribution Sir Mason continues to make to public and indigenous health in New Zealand and the rest of the world. “These awards are indicative of Sir Mason’s continued contribution and the depth of his academic and strategic acumen, experience, expertise and wisdom.” Sir Mason, one of New Zealand’s most respected academics, was knighted in 2010 for services to public health and to Māori health. He has a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Otago, worked in mental health and, in 1988, was appointed to the Chair in Māori Studies at Massey. He has a Doctor of Literature from Massey in 2003 and Otago awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Laws in 2009. 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 chaired the Taskforce on Whānau-Centred Initiatives that produce the Whānau Ora report for the Government in 2010. He remains involved in a wide range of tertiary, educational, health and social service boards.
He was appointed Massey Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 2009, and also held the role of Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Māori and Pasifika) and his academic portfolio of Professor of Māori Research and Development until he retired in 2012. Later that year he was conferred with the title of Professor Emeritus.