Ruānuku | Patrons

Emeritus Professor Ngahuia te Awekotuku continues to contribute in the arts and creative sector. With degrees in Art History and English, her PhD (1981) was in cultural psychology. She wrote an early (1991) monograph on Maori research ethics. For decades she served in the heritage environment as a governor, curator and activist/advocate. Her scholarly works on culture, gender, heritage and sexuality, and her fiction and poetry, have been published and acclaimed locally and internationally.

Emeritus Professor Sir Mason Durie KNZM, FNZAH, FRSNZ is one of New Zealand’s most respected academics, and was knighted in 2010 for services to public and Māori health. 

For over 40 years, Sir Mason has been at the forefront of a transformational approach to Māori health, including chairing the Taskforce on Whānau-Centred Initiatives that produced the Whānau Ora report for the Government in 2010.  He is a past Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Massey University. 

Tā Pita Sharples, of Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngai Te Kikiri o te Rangi and Ngāti Pahauwera, was born in Waipawa in 1941 and grew up in the small country town of Takapau in Hawkes Bay.

Tā Tīpene O’Regan was NPM's longest serving Board Chair before his retirement at the end of 2018, guiding the centre through 12 years of its operations. He is best known more widely for his role as Chairman of the Ngaitahu Maori Trust Board leading the Ngāi Tahu Claim process before the Waitangi Tribunal culminating in the Ngāi Tahu Settlement. He served on the board for 22 years, and was chair for thirteen of those years. As the chief negotiator, Te Kerēme (the Ngāi Tahu Claim) was his main kaupapa.