Sir Mason Durie honoured with leadership award

2017 Blake Medalist, Professor Emeritus Sir Mason Durie. Photo Credit:Brendon O'Hagan





Professor Emeritus Sir Mason Durie has been awarded the Blake Medal, the premium award for leadership achievement in New Zealand, by the Sir Peter Blake Trust.

Sir Mason is one of the country’s most respected academics and an outstanding contributor to public, Māori and mental health. He has also championed higher education for Māori. The Blake Medal is given to acknowledge and celebrate an extraordinary New Zealand leader who has made an exceptional contribution to the country.

Six Blake Leader Awards were also announced: Aaron Fleming, Dr. Te Maire Tau, LTCR Kerry Tutty, Paul Blackwell, Rukumoana Schaafhausen and William Pike.

These awards are given to inspirational mid-career leaders who have shown determination, the will to succeed and a belief in achieving extraordinary things, in the style of Sir Peter Blake himself.

The Governor-General, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, presented the Blake Medal and Blake Leader Awards at Government House last night [Friday 16 June] in Wellington. Pippa Lady Blake and Sarah-Jane Blake represented the Blake family.

Sir Mason’s philosophies around the wellbeing of New Zealanders have influenced a generation of policymakers, politicians and in turn, the education, health and social sectors.

His work has had a significant influence of those delivering care on the frontline of New Zealand health services.

His achievements include:

  • Creating the Te Whare Tapa Wha (four cornerstones of Māori health) model that successfully challenged the notion that health is the same for people of all cultures.

  • He has made momentous strides with his work in mental health and played a significant leadership role in Waka Hourua, the national programme focused on the prevention of suicide in Māori and Pasifika communities.

  • He established and headed Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, the School of Māori Studies at Massey University.

  • He became chair of Māori Research and Development at the university, before being appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor, roles he held until his retirement five years ago. He remains an Emeritus Professor of Māori Research and Development at Massey University.

  • In 2010 Sir Mason was appointed as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and public health.

Shelley Campbell, CEO of the Sir Peter Blake Trust says “Sir Mason is one of this countries exceptional academics and a true leader of both people and ideas. All New Zealanders have benefited from his dedication to improving the health and wellbeing of our communities, but especially Māori.”

“Our Blake Leaders, many who have overcome significant adversity, have already proven their leadership and ability to create positive change across their industries and communities. We look forward to seeing their further leadership contribution to NZ Inc in the years to come,” says Campbell.

Leadership Week starts on Monday 3 of July with over 1,000 leadership events happening throughout the country. The week finishes with Red Socks Day on Friday 7 July.



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