Māori Advisory Committee congratulations and changes

10 July 2020

The EPA congratulates Māori advisory committee member Dr Dan Hikuroa for becoming New Zealand’s UNESCO Cultural Commissioner.

He has also recently been reappointed as acting Chair to Ngā Kaihautū Tikanga Taiao (NKTT), the EPA's statutory Māori Advisory Committee.

Dr Hikuroa is a leading expert in alternative ways of assessing sustainability with a particular expertise in weaving mātauranga Māori and science. He has a PhD in Geology and is currently Senior Lecturer, Te Wananga o Waipapa Maori Studies, at Auckland University.

He says he feels very honoured to receive this UNESCO appointment, and believes his understanding of mātauranga Māori and science will help in his new role.

“I am excited and honoured to be appointed New Zealand’s Cultural Commissioner for UNESCO, and acknowledge the huge responsibility that comes with the appointment.

“I want to make the work of UNESCO much more visible to Māori communities, and will be in particular striving to ensure the value of mātauranga is fully realised.”

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO provides advice to the New Zealand Government on its relationship with the international organisation. The UNESCO NZ team comprises the Commissioners – a Chair and up to five members and a Secretariat.

Dr Hikuroa has been appointed UNESCO Cultural Commissioner for a term of three years.

The EPA would also like to congratulate James (Jim) Doherty, for being made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s list.

Mr Doherty is a kaumatua and recently retired from being a member of Ngā Kaihautū Tikanga Taiao (Ngā Kaihautū), the Environmental Protection Authority’s statutory Māori advisory committee. He joined the committee in October 2011.

EPA Chief Executive Dr Allan Freeth says Mr Doherty has played an instrumental role in the development of the EPA’s Mātauranga Programme - encouraging the EPA to explore the place for mātauranga within its decision-making processes and policies.
 
“As a highly respected kaumatua, Jim’s willingness to generously share from the depth of his knowledge, experience and wisdom has provided a strong tikanga basis to the Mātauranga Programme, which underpins its integrity.”

Prior to joining Ngā Kaihautū, Jim was a member of Te Herenga, the EPA’s voluntary network of Māori environmental and resource practitioners based in the regions. He continues to be a member of Te Herenga’s kaumatua group, known as Ngā Parirau o te Mātauranga.

Mr Doherty stepped down from the NKTT committee at the end of June along with Chair Lisa te Heuheu, Kelly May, and Haupai Puke. On behalf of the EPA, Dr Freeth offers his sincere thanks to the retiring committee members for their work over the years. The Board is currently in the process of recruiting new members and expects to announce new members in the coming month.