3 Jun 2013

Albert Wendt receives New Zealand's highest honour

5:31 am on 3 June 2013

A leading figure in the development of Pacific literature has received the highest award in New Zealand's honours system.

The distinguished writer and academic, Albert Wendt, has been made a member of the Order of New Zealand in New Zealand's Queens Birthday Honours, which were announced today.

Sally Round reports.

"The Emeritus Professor, novelist, painter and poet has been an influential figure in the development of New Zealand and Pacific literature and is regarded internationally as one of the world's leading indigenous novelists and academics. His award for services to New Zealand also acknowledges his contribution on various boards to Pacific people and New Zealand art. Albert Wendt received the Samoa Order of Merit in 1994 and his works have won numerous awards and been translated into several languages. A leading member of New Zealand's Tongan community has also been honoured. Sione Liava'a has been awarded the Queen's Service Medal for services to the Tongan community in Auckland. Mr Liava'a has been on several boards and advisory groups in the fields of education, health, family welfare and prisons."