A New Zealand academic has been awarded a Kiribati order of merit.
The award is given to someone in the traditional arts or scientific fields for contributions to the development, reputation and international recognition of traditional life in Kiribati
Massey University professor, Tony Whincup, who has researched and documented Kiribati culture and artefacts, says it's an honour to be recognised for his efforts.
"Clearly what it is is an endorsement of 30 years work in Kiribati. And as a photographer and as an anthropologist, Im always very very hesitant [and] sensitive about the fact that I'm working in another culture, Im speaking for other people or when I show my images or present my ideas to people. And to have the country turn around and say hey, this is OK, is just a wonderful endorsement for me."
Professor Tony Whincup of Massey Univeristy