Dr Sharples congratulates Sir Tamati Reedy

(PR.co.nz) Maori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples says Sir Tamati Reedy’s New Year honour is a fitting tribute to his life of service to the nation.

“Sir Tamati combines the strength of a rural Ngati Porou East Coast background with an outstanding academic career, which he has devoted to the advancement of Maori in education, public administration, iwi development and Maori-Crown relationships,” said Dr Sharples.

“Sir Tamati taught in secondary schools for many years, before gaining an MA in English and a PhD in linguistics. He was working in the Education Department when a Fullbright Fellowship took him to the United States, and a post as Associate Professor in Alabama. On his return in 1983, he was appointed Secretary of Maori Affairs, heading the Department for six years, and earning a New Zealand Medal in 1990 for public service.

“From there Sir Tamati and his wife Tilly moved into early childhood Maori-immersion education, laying some of the foundations for the kohanga reo curriculum. Together they have been a formidable team,” said Dr Sharples.

In 1996 Sir Tamati was appointed foundation Dean and Professor at the Waikato University School of Maori and Pacific Development. He held several senior academic posts at Waikato, culminating with his recognition as Emeritus Professor in 2009. The following year he became a member of the Waitangi Tribunal.

“Sir Tamati has been in leadership roles all his adult life, and a knighthood is a very appropriate recognition for himself and Lady Tilly. Underpinning his glittering career is an incomparable command of te reo and deep insight into tikanga Maori – making Sir Tamati the ideal person the lead Te Paepae Motuhake, reviewing the Maori language sector and strategy.

“Tēnā koe Tā Tāmati, ngā mihi nui ki a koutou ko tō whānau i tēnei whakahōnore nui ki a koe,” tā te Minita.

Media Release from Maori Affairs Minister, Dr Pita Sharples on 6 January 2011.