Professor Sir Hirini Moko Mead
Professor Sir Sidney (Hirini) Moko Mead was the founding professor of Māori at Victoria University of Wellington and created the first department of Māori studies in the country. In addition, he was responsible for building the first university-based marae on a mainstream campus – Te Herenga Waka Marae at Wellington. When Professor Sir Hirini Mead retired from Victoria University, he established a tribal university,Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi at Whakatane, among his people of Ngāti Awa. This was the third wananga established under the Education Amendment Act 1989. He was also the chief negotiator for the Ngāti Awa claims, which were settled in March 2005. A final part of the settlement was the opening of Mataatua Wharenui in September 2011 in Whakatane.
In 2007 Professor Mead was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Māori and to education.
Professor Sir Hirini Mead is a writer of many books, and in 2003 he published a book on tikanga Māori through Huia Publishers. He and his wife, June, live in Wellington and have three daughters and 10 mokopuna. He was appointed to the Waitangi Tribunal in 2003.