From the Editor

Jul 17, 2013

Nga hau e whamarkr2
Mark Revington

The anecdote I like best about Mark Solomon’s knighthood is one he told about initially balking at the honour and being told to ‘pull his head in’. It wasn’t for him, it was for the tribe, he was firmly told and it was his job to get up there to Wellington and receive the honour on behalf of the tribe.

Some customs are worth holding on to and some should be moved on from. I have always been ambivalent about knighthoods and I wasn’t thrilled when Prime Minister John Key announced in 2009 that the titles of Dames and Knights were to be restored to the New Zealand honours system.

But watching the pleasure of tangata whenua and manuhiri at Takahanga Marae in Kaikōura as they celebrated Tā Mark’s knighthood allowed even a contrarian like me to realise that sometimes the honours mean a heck of a lot more than a title for an individual. In Tā Mark’s case, it was recognition for the work he has done for Ngāi Tahu and Māoridom. And boy, does he put in the hard yards. After that long day at Takahanga, he was up at 5am the next day to catch a plane to Australia for a speaking engagement at a conference. Ngā mihi nui Tā Mark.

And congratulations to the winners at the Ngāi Tahu Reo Awards, who were honoured at a glitzy evening at Ōtākou Marae. Why is it important to celebrate reo champions? Aside from the obvious reason that te reo is a fundamental part of being Ngāi Tahu and being Māori, the awards recognised those who are meeting the challenge of keeping te reo alive. They are leading the rebirth of Ngāi Tahu reo after a couple of lost generations. Whāia e koe ki te iti kahurangi; ki te tuohu koe, me maunga teitei. Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.

Nā Mark Revington

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