Te Mana Whakahaere o Awanuiārangi deputy chairperson Rauru Kirikiri and Minister for Children Hon. Kelvin Davis have
today announced the Tā Harawira Gardiner Endowed Chair and the Centre for the Child.
The announcement was part of an event hosted by Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, honouring Tā Wira for his 58 years of
public service, his leadership across the public sector, and for his contributions during some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s
most sensitive challenges in the Crown and Iwi relationship sphere.
Tā Wira received an honorary doctorate from Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato – University of Waikato, a Spirit of Service
Lifetime Achievement Award from Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission, and the highest recognition from the wānanga
he helped found and has led at various times – the establishment of an Endowed Chair in his name, and a research centre.
“We are so proud of Wira, all his achievements of course, but mainly of who he is - a loving father, grandfather and
uncle, a good friend, and a generous and kind man. The Chair and Centre is such a great way of ensuring that what he has
done with his life will have an enduring practical legacy for a better future for kids,” Hekia Parata said on behalf of
The Wānanga and the Public Service Commission have partnered in the recognition of an outstanding servant leader,
jointly investing in the endowment of the Gardiner Chair and Centre and committing to action research for better futures
for all our tamariki, as well as building a stronger Aotearoa New Zealand.
Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiārangi chief executive Wiremu Doherty is excited about the Gardiner Endowed Chair and Centre.
“Investing in the Gardiner Chair and Centre could not be more appropriate as a touchstone for the work the larger
institute will do, influenced by and reflective of Tā Wira’s legacy as a public servant who is at ease in all
communities, has a compass always tuned to duty, at and a faithfulness to the interests of our diverse country.”
The Gardiner Chair and Centre are the first of a larger institute that Awanuiārangi will establish in Wellington, to
contribute to the increasing recognition of the value of Crown-Māori relationships and the quality and distinctiveness
this brings to the public sector of Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Wānanga sees that it has a role to contribute to this process of nation building and is honoured to follow in the
footsteps of one of its own, and continue his work for the public service today, and tomorrow.