Sir Mason to give sixth WH Oliver lecture


Profesor Emeritus Sir Mason Durie


Emertius Professor Bill Oliver

Professor Emeritus Sir Mason Durie will deliver the sixth WH Oliver Lecture on Wednesday, June 26 at Massey’s Manawatū campus.

His talk Maori Self Determination: 1984 Agendas for Change looks at three national hui on Maori development held that year and reflects on their themes and outcomes.

Sir Mason (Rangitāne, Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Raukawa) is a pioneering figure in the field of Māori health and one of New Zealand’s most highly respected scholars.

He joined Massey in 1988, established the School of Māori studies, Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, spearheaded the University’s new College of Health and during his time at the University held roles including Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Māori & Pasifika) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor. He retired last year.

He has also written many books including Nga Tai Matatu, Tides of Māori Endurance (2005) and Ngā Tini Whetū: Navigating Māori Futures (2011).

School of Humanities senior history lecturer Dr Geoff Watson says the lecture recognises the contribution of Bill Oliver, who was the foundation professor of history at Massey.

Professor Oliver taught at the Manawatū campus from 1964 until 1983, and has written a number of defining works on New Zealand history including the Story of New Zealand (1960). He also edited the Oxford History of New Zealand (1981), and the first volume of the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography.

He received an honorary doctorate in literature from the University in 2000, and in 2007 the WH Oliver lecture was established in recognition of his contribution to history and the humanities.

Professor Margaret Tennant, one of his former students, gave the inaugural lecture and reflected on the history of voluntarism in New Zealand in her talk A Nation of Joiners.

Subsequent speakers include Professor Charlotte Macdonald, Professor Tom Brooking, Dr Bronwyn Dalley and Associate Professor Peter Lineham. Their talks focused on sport, the Liberal government, public history and atheism in New Zealand, reflecting Professor Oliver’s broad interest in social history.

Dr Watson says Sir Mason’s lecture will be the first to focus on Māori history, something Professor Oliver engaged in with Challenge and Response, his book on the history of the East Coast, and his later work with the Waitangi Tribunal. The lecture also has a local connection; both Sir Mason and Bill Oliver grew up in Feilding.

Event details
WH Oliver lecture – Sir Mason Durie on Maori Self Determination: 1984 Agendas for Change
Wednesday June 26, 1pm
Japanese Lecture Theatre, Massey’s Manawatū campus

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