Hon Kelvin Davis
Minister for Crown/Māori relations
4 June 2018
Ta Hekenukumai Busby honoured
“An esteemed kaumatua, a master waka builder, a spirited adventurer with a curious mind; it is a privilege to honour Hek
Busby today as he becomes a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours
for his services to Māori”, Minister for Crown/Māori relations, Kelvin Davis says.
“Ta Hekenukumai is a renowned leader in Tai Tokerau. He is involved in the Waitangi National Trust, The Polynesian
Voyaging Society in Hawaii and the Te Tai Tokerau Māori District Council. He continues to hold leadership roles in his
iwi of Te Rarawa, Ngati Kahu, Te Aupouri, Ngati Kuri and Ngāpuhi.
“But what he is most revered for, is his commitment and love of waka building.
“Hek’s work can be seen in Tai Tokerau where he runs a school in Aurere, teaching the next generation of Waka builders.
Across the globe, his Waka can be found as far away as the Netherlands.
“Hek has always said if it wasn’t for waka, Māori wouldn’t be here today. In my opinion, it is because of Hek, that our
waka and our traditions will be here tomorrow,” Kelvin Davis said.
Others honoured for their services to Maori are Timua Te Puhi Kai Ariki Brennan and Matutaera Te Nana Clendon, Carol Ann
Ngawati, Desma Kemp Ratima and the Archdeacon Tikituterangi Taumati, who are appointed Officers of the New Zealand Order
of Merit (ONZM).
Dr Sharon Ellen Barcello Gemmell, Gabrielle Ann Huria, Rebecca Elizabeth Mellish become Members of the New Zealand Order
of Merit (MNZM) for their services to Māori while Leith Comer becomes a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order (QSO).
Stewart Bull and Richard Henry Sheperd have been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) and Raymond Kouraehana Coffin’s
service to Maori Wardens is also recognised with a QSM.