Ministers’ release: 31 March 2023
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,” Willow-Jean 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, the entertainers Dame Jools and Dame Lynda Topp, the former All Black Sir John Kirwan and many other distinguished New Zealanders.
Professor Rangi Mātāmua ONZM standing at a mihi whakatau for him at Parliament in 2022.
Ngā mihi nui ki a Ahorangi Rangi Mātāmua – Pou Whakarae o te Tau o Aotearoa.
Kua tukua e te Minita Tuarua mō te Toi, te Ahurea me te Tuku Ihotanga, e Willow-Jean Prime ana mihi ki a Ahorangi Rangi Mātāmua (Ngāi Tūhoe) mōna i tohua i te pō rā ko te Pou Whakarae o te tau o Aotearoa.
Ko Ahorangi Mātāmua, te Kaitohutohu Matua Mātauranga Matariki, te whakaihuwaka o ngā Tohu o te Tau o Aotearoa. E whakamihi ana te tohu nei i te tangata whakaohooho ngākau o Aotearoa kua pākaha nui, kua whai painga nui āna mahi ki te motu whānui i te tau nei.
Hei tā Willow-Jean Prime, “Ka nui tō mātou ngākau whakahī ki a Ahorangi Mātāmua kua whakamihia nei mō tana oke tonu ki te hāpai i te Matauranga Māori me te whakapakari tonu i ngā hononga o ngā iwi o Aotearoa, i tō tātou ahurea me tō tātou taiao.”
“He mihi nui whakaharahara tēnei mō ngā mahi nui, ngā mātauranga nunui kua horahia e Ahorangi Mātāmua ki tō tātou motu i tū ai te Hararei Tūmatanui o Matariki. Ka noho te tohu rangatira nei hei taunakitanga kē atu o te hiranga o Matariki ki te tūturutanga o tō tātou tuakiri ahurea, he rā nō tātou ake, he rā mō te katoa o Aotearoa.
“Atu i tēnei rā ki te rā tuarua e whakanuia ai te Rā o Matariki ā te Paraire, te 14 o Hōngongoi 2023, e whakanuia ai e tātou katoa a Matariki ā-motu nei, e puta ai te kōrero kia Mānawatia a Matariki. E rikarika ana au ki te mahi tahi ki tō tātou Pou Whakarae o te Tau o Aotearoa, inā rā, he wā a Matariki e hoki ai a mahara, e whakanuia ai tēnei wā, e titiro whakamua anō ki tua.”
“Hei kupu whakatepe ake, e hiahia ana anō au ki te whakamihi i ērā atu o te whiringa whāiti mō te tohu o te Pou Whakarae o te Tau o te Motu, tae atu ki a Ruby Tui toa o te Kapu Whutupōro o te Ao, ki ngā kaiwhakangahau, ngā Kahurangi a Jools rāua ko Lynda Topp, me Tā John Kirwan, tētahi o te Kapa-o-Pango o mua mō ā rātou mahi nui whakaharahara mā te motu.”
Updated on 22nd May 2023