Honours recognise those serving Māori

Twice a year, New Years and King’s Birthday, we recognise New Zealanders who have served and achieved in their respective passion, including those for their service to Māori.

Published: Tuesday, 4 June 2024 | Rātū, 04 Pipiri, 2024

King’s Birthday Honours 2024

Congratulations to all 2024 King’s Birthday Honour recipients, especially those recognised for their service to Māori who are listed below (source: DPMC website).


Companions (CNZM)


Mrs Arihia Darryl Bennett, MNZM

For services to Māori, governance and the community.

Mrs Arihia Bennett (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi) was the first woman and the longest serving Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu from 2012 to 2024.

Under Mrs Bennett’s leadership, Ngāi Tahu worked with the government and Christchurch City Council to assist with the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes and the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack. She oversaw the growth of iwi finances and assets, which amount to more than $1.9 billion and include more than $600 million in properties. She has been involved with Ngāi Tahu connecting with learning institutions in the United States of America, supporting iwi to work with green energy including hydrogen. She was CEO of He Oranga Pounamu from 2011 to 2012, the iwi mandated organisation for health and social services in the South Island. She is a member of the Pūhara Mana Tangata Māori advisory panel to the Ombudsman’s Office and has been a member of the New Zealand-China Council. She is a member of the Global Women’s Network and the Tuahiwi Māori Women’s Welfare League. In 2021 she was appointed as Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Group to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack. Mrs Bennett has served on the Boards of Barnardos New Zealand and the Christchurch Women’s Refuge (now Aviva).


Ms Anne Candy, QSO, JP

Anne Candy, QSO, JP

For services to Māori and local government.

Ms Anne Candy (Ngāiterangi, Waikato-Tainui) was a Manukau City Councillor from 1995 until 2010 and Deputy Mayor of Manukau from 1998 to 2007.

Ms Candy chaired the Manukau City Council’s Environmental Hearings Committee from 2007 to 2010 and was an elected member of the Counties Manukau District Health Board from 2008 to 2010. She has been a member of Manurewa Local Board since 2019. She was a Review Panel member for the External Review of Maternity Care in the Counties Manukau District for the DHB in 2012. She has contributed in various ways to Ngati Te Ata, supporting parents and whānau in education, health, housing, te reo Māori, cultural heritage, the wellbeing of tamariki, and environmental protection. She was appointed by the Māori Women’s Welfare League as an inaugural Trustee of the Water Utility Consumer Assistance Trust in 2011. She co-founded in 2005 and has chaired the Taonga Education Centre Charitable Trust, helping establish the Potiki Early Childhood Centre and Parents Unit in 2006 and Te Kopu Inc’s Te Kahui Iti Nei Early Childhood Centre in 2008. She served as Bishop’s Commissary to Te Pihopa o Te Tai Tokerau from 2002 to 2023. Mrs Candy was patron of the Manurewa RSA from 1998 to 2018 and has been patron of the Manukau National Council of Women since 2002.


Ms Megan Faye Tamati-Quennell

Megan Tamati-Quennell

For services to Māori and First Nations art.

Ms Megan Tamati-Quennell (Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Mutunga, Kāti Māmoe, Ngāi Tahu, Waitaha) has contributed to the art sector for 34 years and is New Zealand’s longest serving curator of Modern and Contemporary Māori and Indigenous art.

Ms Tamati-Quennell began her training at the National Art Gallery in 1990 and has curated numerous exhibitions at iwi, national and international level. She has elevated and supported many Māori and First Nations artists and built a significant collection for Te Papa Tongarewa. She has advocated for Māori curatorial practice and scholarship. She has worked for Ngāi Tahu for more than 25 years, curating in the first Ngāi Tahu arts festival in 2000 and ‘Mo Tatou’ (2006), the first major survey of Ngāi Tahu art at the request of the tribe. Her work is recognised as foundational in strengthening Ngāi Tahu arts. She has been the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Māori and Indigenous art at Te Papa since 2004. She worked as the inaugural Kairuahi Taketake Toi Onaianei Indigenous Curator Contemporary Art at the Govett Brewster Art Gallery from 2020 to 2022. Recognised for her specialist knowledge, she is sought after internationally as a curator, adviser, writer, editor and speaker. In 2023 Ms Tamati-Quennell was appointed as curator of the Sharjah Biennial for 2025, the first Māori curator invited to work on an international project of this scale.


Mrs Elizabeth Cunningham, JP

Elizabeth Cunningham, JP

For services to governance

Mrs Elizabeth Cunningham (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Irakehu, Ngāti Mutunga ki Wharekauri) has had a career spanning more than 50 years, focusing on the intergenerational health and wellbeing of whānau.

Mrs Cunningham served as President of the Māori Women’s Welfare League Rāpaki branch from 2009 to 2022, having been a member since 1978 and chaired Te Waipounamu Māori Women’s Welfare League steering committee. She was the first Māori elected to the Canterbury Area Health Board from 1991 to 1993, the first Māori elected as Canterbury Councillor for the Environment from 2004 to 2007, and chaired the Māori Advisory Committee for Environment Canterbury. In 2016 she was appointed a Commissioner for Environment Canterbury and led its climate change policy, one of the first in New Zealand. She has been the elected representative of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu since 2006, supporting the economic and cultural investments of her iwi at a national level. She was Chair of Kawawhakaruruhau at Ara Institute’s School of Nursing/Midwifery from 2000 to 2012, having oversight of the programme and training. She was the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority Governor from 2011 to 2016. She chaired Te Awheawhe Rū Whenua, a subcommittee established by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, responding to the needs of the community. Mrs Cunningham has been a regional member of the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group since 2020.


Officers (ONZM)


Mrs Tere Ngawai Gilbert

Tere Gilbert

For services to early childhood and Māori language education.

Mrs Tere Gilbert (Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Hauiti, Ngāti Kahungunu) has helped drive the normalisation of te reo Māori across the early learning sector, having been involved with the Kōhanga Reo Movement for more than 30 years.

Mrs Gilbert was a kaiako and subsequently Tumuaki/Manager of Te Kōhanga Reo o Ngā Kuaka at the University of Waikato from 1994 to 2015. Puna Reo are Māori immersion early learning centres established for tamariki and their whānau to support retention and enhancement of te reo Māori and provide a kaupapa Māori immersion learning experience for tamariki up to age six. Since establishment in 2015, she has lead Te Kōhao Health’s first puna reo, Te Kōhao Kōhungahunga, in Enderley, Hamilton. The popularity of Te Kōhao Kōhungahunga led to a second puna reo, Te Puna Reo o Te Kōhao, being established in 2017. She was responsible in 2021 for bringing together many puna reo in New Zealand culminating in the establishment of the collective group, Ngā Puna Reo o Aotearoa, which she has chaired since inception. She represents the organisation on the Minister of Education’s Early Childhood Advisory Committee. Ms Gilbert has contributed to publications, alongside indigenous Australian and First Nations American and Canadian voices, on the value of indigenous language revitalisation for children in their first years of learning.


Members (MNZM)


The Venerable Joseph Anthony Huta

Joseph Huta

For services to the Anglican Church, Māori and the community.

The Venerable Joseph Huta (Mātaatua, Ngāti Awa, Te Arawa, Ngāti Pikiao, Tūhourangi) has served his community through roles with the Anglican Church since 1992, notably as Archdeacon at St Marks, Rotorua since 2003.

The Venerable Huta has been District Missioner in Waiariki for Te Hui Amorangi o Te Manawa o Te Wheke episcopal region within the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia. He is well-regarded for his dedication and commitment beyond his position to provide service and support for the church, his marae and iwi, impacting families and communities across the region. He worked with the Māori Land Courts from 2006 to 2016 and has been Chairman of Puparuhe Marae Reservation since 2000, Whare Karakia Restoration, Tarewa Lands Trust, Whānau Lands Trust, and a Māori Lands Trust consultant and advisor. He has provided mentorship or taught programmes in various contexts for positive outcomes, including for staff within the Ministry of Justice, church-based training and liturgy craft, Ministry-based training programmes, community pastoral care programmes, and Māori Land Court seminars. The Venerable Huta has engaged with local organisations to address issues of poverty, homelessness, addiction and mental health, establishing partnerships to coordinate volunteer programmes and advocate for resources to support those in need.


Mrs Akinihi Miraka Smith

Akinihi Smith

For services to Māori and the Anglican Church.

Mrs Akinihi Smith (Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupōuri, Ngāi Takoto, Ngāti Kahu, Te Paatu, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahungunu) is a revered kuia of Ngāi Takoto, Ngāti Kuri and Te Paatu, the most senior elder of her marae in Waimanoni, Awanui, and a senior elder of several other Far North marae.

Mrs Smith has served her hapu, iwi, marae and the community of St Joseph’s Māori Anglican Church in Awanui. She is highly respected for her knowledge of iwi customs and traditions and has been involved with kohanga reo and kura kaupapa, youth and sports groups. She has managed various marae and church fundraising efforts. She has organised maintenance of St Joseph’s church and cemetery. She was a senior member of the Auckland Anglican Māori Mission from the 1960s through to the 1990s, when she moved to Kaitaia. She has represented her far north pastorate at every gathering of the Hui Amorangi, the Māori Anglican Diocesan Synod, since 1963, making her the longest serving representative of the Māori Anglican community. She is well regarded for her leading knowledge of Te Rawiri (the 1662 Anglican Book of Common Prayer and Hymnal). Mrs Smith is an active member of the Mother’s Union and is a Board member of her church’s local residential care unit.


Mrs Amohaere Judith Tangitu

Amohaere Tangitu

For services to Māori health.

Mrs Amohaere Tangitu (Ngāti Awa, Te Arawa, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Maniapoto) spent 36 years of her career in the health sector advocating for cultural awareness and safety.

Mrs Tangitu was the Bicultural Parent Liaison Officer at Princess Mary Hospital, fostering relationships with kaumātua in Auckland through the establishment of Te Kāhui Kaumātua Council. She became the Manager of Māori Health in 1989, helped establish the Princess Mary Hospital Whānau House for families to stay in, and was involved in the planning and design of Starship Hospital. This initiative led to the launch of the Ronald McDonald House which opened in 1994. She was a member of the National body of Whānau Āwhina Plunket from 2015 to 2021 and provided advice as a Cultural Consultant to New Zealand Red Cross and Alzheimer’s New Zealand. In 1994 she became the Iwi consultant in Rotorua Hospital where she implemented cultural processes alongside the hospital treatments. In 1999 she became Senior Manager Māori Health of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board where she formed the Māori Health Rūnanga, representing 18 Māori tribes across the region within one forum. Mrs Tangitu was the Director of Regional Māori Health Services from 2010 following the amalgamation of Te Whānau o Irakewa and Te Puna Hauora, providing health services for 22 tribes across the region, until retirement in 2018.


Companion of the King’s Service Order


Mrs Josephine Huti Anderson

For services to Māori.

Mrs Josephine Anderson has been involved in the cultural and historical preservation of land, language and tikanga in the Waitomo area over more than 40 years and is the main kuia for Waitomo Caves village.

Mrs Anderson continues as kai karanga and waiata tautoko at Tokikapu Marae, having performed these roles for many years, and is a past Trustee and committee member for the Marae. She was the first person to directly negotiate with the Crown for a Treaty settlement and had an integral role in the Ruapuha Uekaha hapu settlement process over a period of 34 years. Her involvement began with governance roles from the mid-1980s with Ruapuha Uekaha Hapu Trust and Tanetinorau Opataia Whānau Trust and she remains a current kuia advisor. She has been a member of the Waitomo Caves Management Committee since 1990. She is a past Trustee and kuia advisor for the Waitomo Caves Museum. She continues to act as a kuia advisor for Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Waitomo Caves School, Waitomo Caves Water Catchment Group, and Tourism Group Holdings. Mrs Anderson is a member of the Maniapoto Marae Pact Trust Kaumatua Group and a former member of the Māori Women’s Welfare League Waitomo branch.


Mr Michael John Hollings

Mike Hollings

For services to education and Māori.

Mr Michael Hollings (Ngāti Raukawa, Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi) has had a career in education spanning 35 years, including teaching and senior leadership roles, with a particular focus on the promotion of the Māori language and Māori culture.

Mr Hollings was Chief Executive and Principal of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura) New Zealand’s state distance education provider from 2006 to 2023. During his tenure he has delivered transformational change to ensure the delivery of equitable and excellent outcomes for all students, particularly to Māori and Pacific students, with an 40% increase in enrolments since 2018. He has changed the focus of the school from a centralised to a regionally based delivery system, which is now a full digital distance learning system. He has provided significant leadership in the revitalisation of te reo Māori within the public service as Chief Executive of Te Mangai Paho from 1996 to 1999, and subsequent though the various senior roles within the Ministry of Education, the Education Review Office, and the University of Waikato. He has led the establishment of a Kohanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa Māori in his local community in the Wairarapa. He was the Chairperson of Taki Rua from 1997 to 2013, a theatre company producing te reo Māori performances to schools and kura kaupapa Māori. Mr Hollings has also been appointed Chairperson of the boards of Volunteer Service Abroad and Makoura College.


King’s Service Medal (KSM)


Dr Matire Louise Ngarongoa Harwood

Dr Matire Louise Ngarongoa Harwood

For services to Māori health.

Dr Matire Harwood (Ngāpuhi) has advocated for Māori health as an academic research leader for the broader health sector and as a General-Practitioner at Papakura Marae Health Clinic since 2015.

Dr Harwood’s PhD examined recovery after stroke, designing and testing an intervention for rehabilitation specifically for Māori and Pacific Peoples, the success of which was published widely and has led to changes in treatment guidelines. She became Deputy Dean at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Administration at the University of Auckland in January 2024. She trains senior medical students in Māori health and leads clinical and qualitative research with a focus on managing long term conditions in the community. She has received several awards since 2017 recognising her contributions to Māori health, particularly in South Auckland during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is co-Chair of Te Whatu Ora’s Clinical Research steering group and is a member of the Hauora Māori Advisory Committee to the Minister of Health. She has served on various Boards and committees including the Health Research Council of New Zealand and the Auckland District Health Board. Dr Harwood is editor of the Māori Health Review, a summary of significant medical research affecting Māori.


Miss Katareina Whaiora Kaiwai

Katareina Kaiwai

For services to women and the civil construction industry.

Miss Katareina Kaiwai (Ngāti Porou, Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga) founded Tairāwhiti Contractors on the East Coast in 2021, and as one of the few women business owners in civil construction in the region she has drawn on her onsite experiences in the roading industry since 2011 to advocate for better working conditions for women in construction.

Miss Kaiwai (pictured above) has provided her employees with training in traffic management, road maintenance and road contracting to build capability in local staff over recruiting experienced workers. Tairāwhiti Contractors has grown to 38 staff, a third of whom are women. She has been involved with Te Puni Kōkiri’s Cadetship programme, supporting development of permanent Māori staff at all career stages into higher-skilled roles, as well as investing her own time and resources into these cadetships. She is an ambassador for women in infrastructure for Connexis and ran a Girls with Hi-vis event in Ruatoria in 2021, attracting large numbers of students from multiple schools with opportunities to gain hands-on experience and hear from women in the industry. Following Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023, her company supported recovery, repaired roads, and worked with an LPG supplier to provide gas bottles to cut-off communities and fuel to Te Puia Springs hospital, emergency services and contractors. Miss Kaiwai leads an initiative that provides 490 healthy lunches daily to East Coast school children.



The full list of recipients is available on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet webpage.