The Government is praising Sir Mason Durie for his contribution to Maori development.
He's retiring as a Deputy Vice Chancellor of Massey University.
Minister for Whanau Ora Tariana Turia says Sir Mason Durie is one of the foremost Maori philosophers.
She says he worked alongside her in developing the Whanau Ora policy and approach.
Ms Turia also credits the professor with contributing to the growth of Maori studies, Maori development, and the number of Maori graduates.
She says he has been critical in informing the minds of many in a new generation of Maori critical thinkers.
Before becoming an academic, Sir Mason was a psychiatrist and a house surgeon.