PROFESSOR SIR MASON DURIE (Rangitāne, Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Raukawa)
Sir Mason Durie KNZM FRSNZ FRANZCP is one of New Zealand’s most respected academics, and was knighted in 2010 for services to public and Māori health.
He has a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Otago, and has focused on improving Māori health outcomes for much of his career. In 1988 he was appointed Professor and Head of Te Pūtahi-ā-Toi, School of Māori Studies at Massey University and subsequent to that was appointed Chair of Māori Research and Development in 2002.
Mason earned his DLit in literature from Massey University in 2003, and in 2009 Otago University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Laws. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate in health sciences from Simon Fraser University for his contributions to Indigenous health. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand since 1995 and a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit since 2001. He chaired the Taskforce on Whānau-Centred Initiatives that produce the Whānau Ora report for the Government in 2010 and remains involved in a wide range of tertiary, educational, health and social service boards through to the present day.
For over 40 years, Mason has been at the forefront of a transformational approach to Māori health and has played major roles in building the Māori health workforce. His efforts have been recognised by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, the Public Health Association of New Zealand, the Māori Medical Practitioners Association, the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, and the Polynesian Society.
In addition to his lifelong commitment to Māori health, Professor Durie has also championed higher education for Māori. As Deputy Chair of Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Professor of Māori Research and Development, and more recently Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Massey University, he has continued to provide national academic leadership for Māori and indigenous development and regularly assists Iwi and Māori communities to realise their own aspirations for socio-economic advancement.