Ground-breaking UC academics, Māori culture champions among staff, alumni named in Queen's Honours

04 June 2020

Two pioneering University of Canterbury academics, a new Dame who champions Māori women, a new Knight who champions Māori art, a Pasifika poet, a former All Blacks captain, and many other alumni and friends of the University have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020.

  • Lardelli art

    Detail of UC alumnus Sir Professor Derek Lardelli's 1999 untitled artwork at the University of Canterbury. Professor Lardelli has a Master of Fine Arts with Distinction degree from UC. This commissioned mixed media sculpture is displayed in UC’s Rehua building.

Rosemary Du Plessis

An Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) was awarded to Adjunct Associate Professor Rosemary Du Plessis for services to women and education. Adjunct Associate Professor Du Plessis has held various teaching and research roles at UC since 1974, teaching some of the first gender studies courses in the country at UC.

Two pioneering University of Canterbury academics, a new Dame who champions Māori women, a new Knight who champions Māori art, a Pasifika poet, a former All Blacks captain, and many other alumni and friends of the University have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020.

The University of Canterbury congratulates more than 20 honoured staff, alumni and friends who exemplify our vision of tangata tū tangata ora, people prepared to make a difference.

An Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) was awarded to Adjunct Associate Professor Rosemary Ann Du Plessis, of Christchurch, for services to women and education. She has contributed to the advancement of women’s rights and education for 45 years.

“The MA thesis in Sociology that I started at UC in 1973 was closely related to my own experience as a young mother seeking to pursue a career,” Adjunct Associate Professor Du Plessis says, when asked about the honour.

“It promoted a commitment to teaching, research, policy analysis and work with organisations that address gender inequalities and related constraints on women and men.

“Most of this work has involved collaboration with colleagues inside and outside academia.”

Adjunct Associate Professor Du Plessis has held various teaching and research roles at the University of Canterbury since 1974. She is a pioneer of gender studies in New Zealand, teaching some of the first gender studies courses in the country, co-editing important texts on feminist issues and working with others to establish the Feminist Studies programme at the University of Canterbury. She was Commissioner – Social and Human Sciences at the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO for five years and has been a member of the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand and Chair of its Social Science Advisory Committee. She was a member of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs Advisory Committee, the National Advisory Committee on the Employment of Women, and a Co-Convenor of the National Council of Women of New Zealand’s Public Issues Standing Committee. She chaired the ‘Who Gets Born’ policy document working group for Tai te Taiao: The Bioethics Council. She has been a National Committee member of the Women’s Studies Association and Board member of the New Horizons for Women Trust. Adjunct Associate Professor Du Plessis has undertaken research into women’s experiences of the Canterbury earthquakes with the NCWNZ Christchurch Branch.

Ms Lynette Harata Te Aika, of Christchurch has become a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori language education. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from UC, was formerly the Head of the Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies and remains a UC researcher.

Ms Lynne Harata Te Aika is a tribal advocate, teacher, and researcher for Māori learner success who has been driving the strengthening of te reo and Ngāi Tahu tikanga throughout the South Island. Ms Te Aika was instrumental in 2000 in developing Ngāi Tahu’s Māori language strategy Kotahi Mano Kāika, Kotahi Mano Wawata, which aims to have 1,000 households speaking te reo Māori by 2025. She developed Hōaka Pounamu for Christchurch Teachers College (now UC) in 2001, a postgraduate course for teachers using te reo Māori in mainstream, bilingual, and immersion learning at all schooling levels. She has been Chairperson of the Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga Education Committee since 2001 and developed workshops for teachers in 2014, which have since been completed by more than 4,000 teachers. She developed Kā Poupou Reo o Tahu in 2018, an intensive te reo Māori course for qualified teachers. She was a member of the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology Council from 2011 to 2017 and a Ngāi Tahu Fund Board member from 2012 to 2016. She is a Trustee of Matapopore Charitable Trust involved in Cultural Design and Advice for Greater Christchurch Anchor projects. Ms Te Aika is a Board member and former Chair of Mātauraka Mahaanui, responsible for Māori earthquake recovery for schools and Early Childhood Centres in Greater Christchurch.

Several UC alumni and friends of the University have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, announced on Monday 1 June, including:

Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM)

Professor Derek Arana Te Ahi Lardelli, ONZM, of Gisborne. For services to Māori art.

Professor Derek Lardelli is a leading tā moko artist, visual artist, kapa haka performer, orator, composer, graphic designer, researcher, cultural consultant and educationalist.

Professor Lardelli is Ahorangi at Toihoukura, School of Visual Arts Maori, in Gisborne and has been prominent in promoting Māori arts nationally and internationally. His artwork is found in national and international institutions, public buildings and private collections. He created the Maui sculptures on his tribal mountain, Hikurangi. In 2018 he created the entranceway installation for the ‘Ko Rongowhakaata’ exhibition at Te Papa. As Chairperson of Te Uhi a Mataora, a national Tā Moko Arts collective, he has been heavily involved in the retention and development of the rituals, karakia and oral histories associated with Tā Moko, and is credited with leading the renaissance of this art form. He is a composer, performer and leader of Whāngārā mai Tāwhiti Kapa Haka group, twice winners of the Te Matatini national competition. He composed the New Zealand Universities rugby team haka and most recently the ‘Poutangata’ haka for the New Zealand Olympic Committee. His most recognised composition is the All Blacks haka, ‘Kapa O Pango’. He is a Trustee of Toi Māori Aotearoa and member of Te Papa Tongarewa’s Repatriation Advisory Panel and the New Zealand Olympic Committee Māori Advisory Committee. Mr Lardelli has served on the Waitangi Tribunal and was a Trustee of the New Zealand Arts Foundation.

He told RNZ it was an honour to receive an accolade, and added that it was not just a recognition of his work but that of all Māori arts: “The award recognises first and foremost Māori and Māori arts. It, of course, belongs to my whānau, whānau whānui and all of Māoridom.”

Professor Lardelli has a Master of Fine Arts with Distinction degree from UC. One of his commissioned mixed media sculptural artworks is displayed in UC’s Rehua building.

Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Mrs Aroha Hohipera Reriti-Crofts, CBE, JP, of Christchurch. For services to Māori and the community.

Mrs Aroha Reriti-Crofts has been a member of Māori Women’s Welfare League since 1968, serving a term as National and International President from 1990 to 1993 and is a Life Member of the Ōtautahi Branch.

Since 1993 Mrs Reriti-Crofts has been a Trustee, Director and Chairperson of Māori Women’s Development Inc. She has been a Trustee of Partnership Health Canterbury and the Southern Regional Health Authority Board of Directors. She has been the Rūnanga Representative of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu representing Ngāi Tūāhuriri. She is Chairperson of Matapopore Charitable Trust, culturally advising and guiding developers in the re-build of Christchurch. She was Chairperson of Poutama Training Centre Trust and a Board member of the Ngāi Tahu Development Corporation. She was Chairperson of Nga Maia Māori Midwives Trust and a member of the Management Committees for both Rakaia Māori Land Inc. and Mawhera Māori Land Inc. She was Supervisor of the Whānau Toko i te Ora Parenting Programme. She is a member of Te Ropu Whakaruruhau Breast Feeding Authority and Te Ropu Kawa Whakaruruhau at ARA. She was a member of the Whānau Reference Group for the Families Commission, Quest Rapuara, Māori Education Trust, Kōhanga Reo National Trust, and Enterprise Waitaha. She was the Kaumātua and cultural advisor for the Queen Mary Hospital Group until its closure. Mrs Reriti-Crofts is currently a Trustee of Te Puawaitanga Maori Health Provider and Kaumātua of Waimakariri District Council.

Mrs Reriti-Crofts was quoted in the New Zealand Herald saying she joined the Māori Women’s Welfare League in 1968 because she wanted to be something more than “just being a housewife”.

“I listened to other people talking. I believe the observer learns a lot just sitting and listening and watching, and I learned all those beautiful things of how to express oneself.”

She has a Diploma in Primary Teaching from UC (which includes the then Christchurch College of Education).

Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM)

Mr Barry John Maister, ONZM, of Christchurch. For services to sport and the community.

He has represented New Zealand on many commissions and organisations as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 2010 to 2019, and as Sport New Zealand International ambassador from 2011 to 2018.

Mr Maister has been a member of Evaluation and/or Coordination commissions for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games in 2018, and the Beijing Olympic Winter Games 2022. He chaired the IOC Education Commission from 2016 to 2019 and has been a member of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) education committee since 2015. He was Vice President Oceania Olympic Committee from 2008 to 2018 and an Executive Member of the World Association of National Olympic committees during the same period. He was a Board member Auckland 2017 World Masters Games and a member of the MBIE New Zealand major events investment panel from 2017 to 2018. Within the wider community he was Chair of Picton’s Kaipupu Wildlife sanctuary from 2013 to 2016 and Patron from 2018. He chaired Picton ‘Smart and Connected’ community group and was Director of ‘Destination Marlborough’. He was a member of Tuia 250 Totaranui Trust from 2016 to 2017 and Patron from 2019. Mr Maister chaired the Christchurch Multi Purpose Arena Trust from 2017 to 2019.

Mr Maister has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) with First Class Honours from UC.

Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)

Dr Jan Elizabeth Gregor, of Christchurch. For services to water safety and public health.

Dr Jan Gregor has made significant contributions to water safety in New Zealand and the wider Pacific region. She earned her Bachelor of Science (Hons) with First Class Honours and PhD in Chemistry from UC in the 1980s.

Mr Anthony Bruce Lepper, JP, of Alexandra. For services to sports administration and local government.

Tony Lepper held local government positions for 27 years, most recently as Mayor of Central Otago for two terms from 2010, and has contributed to sports administration. He has a UC Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma in Education (from the then Christchurch College of Education, now UC).

Dr Brian Thomas Pauling, of Wellington. For services to broadcasting and education.

Dr Brian Pauling founded the New Zealand Broadcasting School (NZBS) as a small community education course in 1983, which has since grown to be recognised as the pre-eminent broadcasting education programme in New Zealand. He earned a Bachelor of Commerce, a Master of Arts in Political Science, and began his PhD at UC (completing it at Deakin University).

Mr Thomas Richard Barton Rainey, of Christchurch. For services to music and music education.

Mr Tom Rainey is a multi-instrumentalist who worked at the Ara Institute of Canterbury for 28 years, where he was the Head of the Department of Creative Industries from 2012 to 2019. He has a Bachelor of Music from UC.

Mr Kieran James Read, of Christchurch. For services to rugby.

Mr Kieran Read played for the All Blacks for 11 years, including 52 test matches as Captain. A former Crusaders and All Blacks captain, Mr Read has studied towards a Sport Coaching degree at UC.

Mr James Ronald Tomlin, of Dunedin. For services to art education.

Mr Jim Tomlin has been at the forefront of art education in New Zealand for more than four decades. Tomlin was the Head of the Dunedin School of Art for 24 years, until 2000. He earned his Diploma of Fine Arts at UC in the 1960s.

Mr David John Zwartz, of Wellington. For services to the Jewish and interfaith communities.

Mr David Zwartz was President of the New Zealand Jewish Council from 1998 to 2005 and is Chair of the Wellington Jewish Council. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from UC.

Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM)

Ms Donna Tusiata Avia, of Christchurch. For services to poetry and the arts.

Ms Tusiata Avia is an internationally acclaimed poet, performer and children’s author known for her dynamic performance style. Ms Avia received her Bachelor of Arts degree from UC in 1989 and was the Ursula Bethel Writer in Residence for 2010 based in UC’s College of Arts.

Mrs Lois Anne Chick, of Christchurch. For services to education.

Mrs Lois Chick is the co-founder and co-director of the New Zealand Graduate School of Education (NZGSE), one of the first private teacher training organisations in the country. She earned her Bachelor and Master of Education degrees from UC and a Diploma in Special Education.

Mr David Osborne Crerar, of Dunedin. For services to mountaineering and outdoor recreation.

Mr David Crerar has contributed to outdoor recreation and mountaineering in several roles since the 1960s, including making significant contributions to mountaineering through his 37 years as a Coroner for North Canterbury and Otago-Southland. He earned his Bachelor of Laws at UC.

Dr Alison Margaret Keeling, of Christchurch. For services to gerontology.

Dr Sally Keeling has been researching the social context of ageing, ageing and health, and age-friendly environments for the past 30 years. Dr Keeling studied teaching at the Christchurch College of Education.

Dr Kevin Bartley Knight, JP, of Christchurch. For services to education.

Dr Kevin Knight is the co-founder and co-director of the New Zealand Graduate School of Education (NZGSE), one of the first private teacher training organisations in the country. Dr Knight earned his Bachelor of Science as well as studying Education at UC.

Mr Donald Stuart Long, of Lower Hutt. For services to literature and education, particularly Pacific language education.

Mr Don Long has worked and volunteered for more than 30 years as an educational resource publisher, with a specific focus on keeping Pacific languages alive, both in New Zealand and Pacific nations. He earned his Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from UC and a Diploma in Special Education.

Mr Peter Edward Smale, of Motueka. For services to seniors, the community and horticulture.

Mr Peter Smale has worked in the horticultural research sector and contributed to the Motueka community for more than 40 years. He earned Bachelor and Master of Horticulture degrees from UC.

Honorary Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Dr Johan Hellemans, of Christchurch. For services to triathlon.

Dr John Hellemans has contributed to the sport of triathlon in New Zealand as a competitive triathlete, coach, and sports medicine practitioner. His book, Never, Ever Give Up? A memoir was published by Canterbury University Press in 2018.

Queen's Service Medal (QSM)

Mrs Ella Regina Hanify (Ella Buchanan Hanify), of Lower Hutt. For services to music.

Mrs Ella Buchanan Hanify has been involved with music, particularly community and young people’s choirs, for more than 40 years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Music from UC and a Diploma in Teaching (from the then Christchurch College of Education, now UC).

Ms Marie Jane Taylor, of Napier. For services to horticulture and native revegetation.

Ms Marie Taylor has single-handedly developed a thriving native plant nursery that grows more than 150,000 native plants annually. She earned a Graduate Diploma in Journalism from UC.

  • Lynne-Hariata Te Aika

    Former Head of UC's Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies and current UC researcher Lynne-Hariata Te Aika has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Māori language education.

For further information please contact:

UC Communications team, media@canterbury.ac.nz, Ph: (03) 369 3631 or 027 503 0168