Emeritus Professor Sir Mason Durie, ONZ, KNZM appointed to the Order of New Zealand

07 January 2021

Waiho mā te tangata e mihi, kia tau ai! Āe, mārika! - It should be better to let others praise! Absolutely!

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) congratulates New Zealand Fellow, Emeritus Professor Sir Mason Durie, ONZ, KNZM on his appointment to the Order of New Zealand in the New Year Honours List for 2021.

The Order of New Zealand is New Zealand’s most senior honour and is limited to 20 living people.

‘I am delighted to see that Tā Mason is being honoured for his many achievements, as well as his dedication to Māori health, indigenous workforce development, education, research and promotion of indigenous knowledge locally and internationally over more than four decades', said RANZCP President, Associate Professor John Allan.

‘On behalf of the entire RANZCP membership, I would like to congratulate Tā Mason for this prestigious honour, made for services to New Zealand, and acknowledge the hard work and commitment he has given throughout his illustrious career.’

Tā Mason was appointed as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori in 2001, and as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori health and public health services in 2010.

Tā Mason, who is also an inaugural patron of the RANZCP Foundation, has championed higher education and 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 University.

Some of his many 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 has served on the Boards of Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand and the Foundation for Research Science and Technology.

Tā Mason has been Chair of the Guardians Group for the Secondary Futures project and was a Commissioner for the New Zealand Families Commission. He chaired the Ministerial Taskforce on Whānau Ora resulting in improved health and social services for Māori.

He was also 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, Tā Mason helped establish two new secondary schools in Palmerston North. Tā Mason has promoted Māori at all levels of education and engaged many agencies to address issues of inequity, whilst at the same time promoting the strength and resilience Māori have always had.    

His efforts have been recognised by the RANZCP, the Public Health Association of New Zealand, the Māori Medical Practitioners Association, the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, and the Polynesian Society. Sir Mason was appointed in 2019 as one of three inaugural Ruānuku by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand's Māori Centre of Research Excellence, and received the Blake Medal in 2017.

Ko tōu reo, ko tōku reo              Your voice and my voice

Te tuakiri tangata.                     Are expressions of identity

Tīhei uriuri,                                May our descendants live on

Tīhei nakonako.                        And our hopes be fulfilled


Kia ora e Tā!