Tā Tipene O’Regan has been named as 2022 New Zealander of the Year.
Tā Tipene O’Regan made history in 1997 as the lead negotiator in one of Aotearoa’s first major iwi settlements.
Tā Tipene led representatives of Ngāi Tahu, gathering with Crown officials at Takahanga Marae, Kaikōura, to sign what would become the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act, Te Kerēme.
Today, 54 iwi claims against the crown have been settled, totalling $1.5 billion in financial compensation.
The Ngāi Tahu settlement is one of only three Treaty of Waitangi claims to reach $170 million.
Tā Tipene O’Regan was honoured at the Kiwi Bank New Zealander of the year last week.
Here’s a list of the other winners :
2022 New Zealander of the Year: Tā Tipene O’Regan
Tā Tipene O’Regan is known for his work in Ngāi Tahu’s Treaty Settlement, as an educator and as a public figure whose life has been dedicated to building an inclusive, bicultural nation.
Local Hero of the Year: Dave Letele
Dave Letele is the founder of the not-for-profit Brown Buttabean Motivation programme – a free, gym-based weight-loss programme that has inspired thousands of New Zealanders to get fit and get healthy.
Environmental Hero of the Year: Charmaine Bailie
Described as a force of nature, Charmaine Bailie is an ecologist overseeing numerous large-scale environmental restoration projects. She uses her skills, humour and energy to support people and the whenua.
Innovator of the Year: Mark Sagar
Soul Machines chief executive Mark Sagar is leading the way for intelligent, AI design. From his R&D lab in Auckland, he is generating an international reputation as a pioneer in the field.
Senior New Zealander of the Year: Rereata Mākiha
Rereata Mākiha believes in the power of sharing knowledge and using oral traditions – korero-tuku-iho to connect and educate the next generation.
Any member of the public can nominate an individual or community organisation for the awards.
Nominations were open from 19 July till 31 August.