Emeritus Professor Whatarangi Winiata, a leading thinker of te ao Māori, has been honoured by the 86 members of the National Iwi Chairs Forum.
He was presented at his own Raukawa Marae with the forum’s Te Whare Pūkenga (living taonga) award for his mahi, which has impacted whānau, hapū and iwi across Aotearoa.
Te Whare Pūkenga was established by the Iwi Chairs Forum in 2021 to recognise rangatira who have enhanced the lives of all whānau in Aotearoa through their activities.
Whatarangi has been an active contributor to iwi and te ao Māori for the past 50 years. He’s a former New Zealand Māori Council and Māori Congress member, a lead negotiator on Treaty issues including broadcasting and fisheries, and served as founding president of Te Pāti Māori in 2004, serving until 2009.
'In Māori for Māori, by Māori, to Māori.'
Dame Naida Glavish (Ngāti Whātua), who led the iwi chairs delegation, says presenting the award at Winiata’s marae “was as important as someone walking into the home of the Governor-General to receive a knighthood”.
“In this sense, he received his own mana Māori motuhake in his own marae, in Māori for Māori, by Māori, to Māori.”
Glavish had nothing but praise for Winiata's milestones throughout his life. She told teaomaori.news that when he received the award, Winiata was ecstatic but humble, and at times emotional, supported by his wife and whānau in attendance.
“It was clearly stated by the speakers on the marae that the strength of the man is not because he has a strong woman behind him but who is right side him.
“With the work that he has done and still continues to do, I believe he has a love of our reo Māori, a love of Māori intuition and an absolute love for anything authentically Māori.”