Thursday, July 18, 2024

Minister full of praise for New Zealander of the Year

Associate Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Willow-Jean Prime, has congratulated Professor Rangi Mātāmua (Ngāi Tūhoe) who was last night named the prestigious Te Pou Whakarae o Aotearoa New Zealander of the Year.

Professor Mātāmua, who is the government’s Chief Adviser Mātauranga Matariki, was the winner of the New Zealander of the Year Awards. The honour recognises an inspirational New Zealander whose accomplishments have had a significant, beneficial impact on the nation this year.

“We are so very proud of Professor Mātāmua who has been recognised for his ongoing efforts to elevate Matauranga Māori and strengthen ties between Aotearoa New Zealand our people, our culture and our environment,” Minister Prime said.

“This is a huge thank you for all the mahi and mātauranga Professor Mātāmua has already provided to our country by initiating the Matariki Public Holiday. The Matariki Public Holiday is part of the fabric of our cultural identity, a day we can proudly claim as our own and one that is devoted to all New Zealanders.

“On Friday, July 14, 2023, we will all celebrate the second Matariki Public Holiday as a nation together, and say Mānawatia a Matariki. I look forward to working with our New Zealander of the Year because Matariki is a time for remembrance, celebrating the present and looking to the future.

“Finally, for their outstanding contributions to our nation, I would also like to recognise the other finalists for the New Zealander of the Year award, including the Rugby World Cup winner Ruby Tui (pictured, centre), the entertainers Dame Jools and Dame Lynda Topp, the former All Black Sir John Kirwan and many other distinguished New Zealanders,” she said.

Sir John Kirwan.

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