The Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency wish to congratulate our Chief Operating Officer, Awerangi Tamihere (Ngāti Kauwhata, Rangitāne, Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Kāi Tahu) who was awarded the MNZM for her services to Māori Health in Wellington last night.

Dame Cindy Kiro the Governor-General of Aotearoa presented the honour to Awerangi who was humbled to be recognised for her role in Māori Health.

“This is an honour and a privilege to be acknowledged for work I am very passionate about and have been involved with for a very long time. Whānau Ora led the way during COVID with exemplary outcomes that eclipsed other similar agencies. To us, to myself it was business as usual that continues today to ensure whānau can easily access the health and social services they need. I am very proud to have received this accolade for work I do every day”.

Awerangi’s father Sir Mason Durie was amongst her whānau in attendance to witness the ceremony, himself a notable stalwart for Māori in the health sector.

Whānau Ora Chair, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait said it was a momentous occasion.

“Awerangi is smart, deliberate and dedicated to Māori Health and it shows. She leads from the front. Awerangi is fearless when it comes to speaking on behalf of our people and in doing so makes huge inroads for whānau. This is well deserved and I doubt this will be the last of such decorations to be presented to her”.

Awerangi is also a Global Commissioner on the Global Values Commission, a member of the Māori Women’s Welfare League Henderson Branch, Co-Chair of the Auckland Regional Skills Leadership Group, Deputy Chair of Tapuwae Roa (Te Ohu Kaimoana) and a Director on the Māori Health Authority, Te Aka Whai Ora Māori Health Authority.