Sir Mason's contribution to Maori development acknowledged   9 May 2012

Minister for Whanau Ora, Hon Tariana Turia has responded to the news of Sir Mason Durie’s retirement from Massey University, calling him a true visionary, and commending him for his lifelong commitment to advancing Maori aspirations in a range of fields.

Mrs Turia said “Sir Mason Durie has had a distinguished career at Massey University, contributing to the growth of Maori studies, Maori development, and of course the number of Maori graduates at both degree and post graduate degree level.”

“While his retirement as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Maori and Pasifika) at Massey University will be a huge loss for not just that university, but organisations throughout the motu, his contribution to both the academy and to Maori development will always be remembered as being vast and meaningful.”

“Prior to his work as an academic, Mason had an illustrious career in the health sector, as a psychiatrist and a house surgeon, and has won an impressive number of awards for his work and contribution to this field of expertise" said Mrs Turia.

Mrs Turia said “Sir Mason Durie is one of our foremost Maori philosophers, and I had the pleasure and privilege of working alongside him in developing the Whanau Ora policy and approach. He was the founding Chair of the original Whanau Ora Taskforce in 2008, and has played a key role in guiding this policy into fruition.”

“He is a man of vision, who has an immense depth of knowledge across a range of fields, and his publications have been critical in informing the minds of many a new generation of Maori critical thinkers”

“I wish Sir Mason well in his future endeavours, and while he is leaving a brilliant career, he will no doubt continue to push boundaries and advance Maori development. We have been blessed for so long, for his leadership in health, social services, education, indigenous frameworks, research and scholarship."

"But most of all, our gratitude is immense to his wife Arohia, his whanau, hapu and iwi, for sharing Sir Mason with us with such generosity. Their contribution as a whanau to our collective vision has been profound" ended Mrs Turia

(New Zealand Government)

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