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Sir Mason Durie receives ONZ at investiture ceremony

Sir Mason Durie and Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy

Sir Mason Durie and Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy.

Professor Emeritus Sir Mason Durie, Rangitāne, Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Raukawa Te Au ki te Tonga, ONZ, KNZM received one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s highest honours at Government House on Monday – the Insignia of Member of the Order of New Zealand for services to New Zealand.

According to the honour’s citation, Sir Mason Durie has been at the forefront of a transformational approach to Māori health and has played major roles in building the Māori health workforce for more than 40 years.

Sir Mason has also championed higher education for Māori. He has provided national academic leadership for Māori and indigenous development in roles as Deputy Chair of Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Professor of Māori Research and Development, and as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Massey University until 2012.

He remains Emeritus Professor of Māori Research and Development at Massey. His accomplishments include gaining funding to establish a Centre for Māori Health Research, Te Pūmanawa Hauora, and negotiating the Māori mental health programme, Te Rau Puawai, which provides up to 100 scholarships annually for students studying health-related subjects.

He served on the Boards of Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand and the Foundation for Research Science and Technology. He has been Chair of the Guardians Group for the Secondary Futures project, and a Commissioner for the New Zealand Families Commission.

He also chaired the Ministerial Taskforce on Whānau Ora and was Chair of Te Kāhui Amokura, a Standing Committee of the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee.

As Chair of the Palmerston North based Tu Toa Trust, Sir Mason helped establish two new secondary schools in the region.

His efforts have been recognised by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, the Public Health Association of New Zealand, the Māori Medical Practitioners Association, the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, and the Polynesian Society.

In 2019, Sir Mason was appointed as one of three inaugural Ruānuku by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand's Māori Centre of Research Excellence, and he received the Blake Medal in 2017.