Knighthood for Professor Mason Durie


Sir Mason Durie


Professor Emeritus Colin Holmes


The University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mason Durie, has been made a knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, one of four knights and a dame announced in the 2010 New Year's Honours today.

Sir Mason is one of New Zealand’s most highly respected academics. His honour is for services to public health and to Maori health.

Sir Mason (Rangitane, Ngati Kauwhata and Ngati Raukawa) grew up in Feilding, attended Te Aute College, Hawke's Bay, and graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery in 1963. He has a postgraduate Diploma in Psychiatry from McGill University, Canada, and was Director of Psychiatry at Palmerston North Hospital then a member of the Royal Commission on Social Policy from 1986-88.

In 1988 he was appointed to the Chair in Maori Studies at Massey, where he graduated as a Doctor of Literature in 2003. 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. Last year Otago University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Sir Mason was appointed to head a government taskforce focussed on improving outcomes for Maori whanau this year and is the chair, or member of a wide range of tertiary, educational, health and social service boards.

In October, he was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor, a role he holds in addition to his Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Maori and Pasifika) duties and his academic portfolio of Professor of Maori Research and Development.

Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says the honour is well deserved and recognises the contribution Sir Mason has made to communities, health, whanau, at local, regional, national and international level. “Sir Mason's wisdom, experience, academic and strategic acumen are not only an asset to the University, but to the nation,” he says.

Other staff members to receive honours were Pasifka Director Professor Sitaleki Finau, who was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Pacific Islands community health, and New Zealand School of Music senior lecturer Flora Edwards, who was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music. Professor Emeritus Colin Holmes was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to agriculture, while 11 Massey alumni received honours.

Alumni recipients of honours are:
  • Dr James Edwards of Otaki (ONZM) for services to the veterinary profession and the community.
  • Edgar Young of New Plymouth (ONZM) for services to the dairy industry and the community.
  • Dr Niederer Wallace of Taupo (MNZM) for services to equine veterinary science.
  • Elaine Moffat of Lower Hutt (QSO) for services to women and the community.
  • Neal Ames of Otaki (QSM) for services to surf lifesaving.
  • Detective Sergeant Grant Coward of New Plymouth (QSM) for services to the New Zealand police.
  • Sister Anne Hurley of Manukau (QSM) for services to the community.]
  • Narayanan Panchanatham of Upper Hutt (QSM) for services to the community.
  • Coraleen White of Westport (QSM) for services to the community.
  • Major Peter Jacobs of Lower Hutt (DSD) for services to the New Zealand Defence Force.
  • Dr Michael Anthony Boyes (MNZM) for services to outdoor recreation and mountain safety.

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