Tā Tipene O’Regan becomes a Member of the Order of New Zealand

Māori Development

Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson congratulates Tā Stephen Gerard (Tipene) O’Regan for becoming an Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand, today, for his services to Aotearoa/New Zealand, announced on the Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours List 2022.

“Tā Tipene has worked tirelessly throughout his life to improve the economic, cultural and social standing of Māori communities,” Willie Jackson says.

“This year marks the 25th anniversary since Tā Tipene successfully led the negotiation of one of Aotearoa’s first major iwi settlements.

“He was pivotal in bringing about the historic Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement in 1997, and the subsequent Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998. Today, the Iwi’s assets exceed $1.8 billion, and it is a shining example of what can be achieved by Māori through the Treaty settlement process.

“The respected and admired kaumātua was instrumental in helping to negotiate and shape legislative responses to Māori interests in fisheries, both commercial and non-commercial and was the founding chairman of Te Ohu Kaimoana (Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission).

“Tā Tipene is known for his work as a shrewd negotiator, but also as an educator and as a public figure whose life has been dedicated to building an inclusive, bicultural nation,” Willie Jackson said.

For his services to Māori culture and education, Dr Patrick Wahanga (Patu) Hohepa has been awarded with a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in this year’s Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours List.

“A former Professor of Māori Language at The University of Auckland. Dr Hohepa was the first Māori dux of Northland College, and went on to have a distinguished career in Māori and Pacific linguistics,” Willie Jackson said.

“He is also a Ngāpuhi orator, genealogist, and writer, and retains an enduring interest in education opportunities for the people of Te Taitokerau (Northland) where he resides.

“His leadership and advocacy for Māori cultural recognition and development has raised the profile of our culture in Aotearoa. The work he has done around te reo Māori and Māori culture is incredible.

“In the 1980s, he wrote a report for the government on the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal through and was also the Commissioner of the Māori Language Commission, where he heavily promoted te reo Māori and developed proficiency testing.

 “He has been a kaumātua for a large number of organisations, including as a member of Haerewa, the Māori Cultural Advisory Group of Auckland Art Gallery.

“As part of this role, he led the New Zealand delegation accompanying an exhibition of fifty portraits of Māori by pre-eminent painter Gottfried Lindauer to Europe in late 2014.

“There is no doubt about Dr Hohepa’s contribution to the reo. However, his contribution also to the politicisation of Māori must also be acknowledged. Dr Hohepa alongside Dr Ranginui Walker was responsible for conscientising Māori students and Māori communities at University and as a member of the Auckland Māori Council. He was a brave and courageous advocate for our people and we will always be grateful for that,” Willie Jackson said.