A new award in honour of the noted Maori academic, Sir Mason Durie, was given to an Auckland researcher on Wednesday for his social science work.
Professor Russell Gray, along with 14 others, received a medal at the Royal Society of New Zealand ceremony in Auckland, for research in science, technology and humanities.
The society says Professor Gray, from Auckland University, deserves the award for his contributions to the fields of linguistic and cultural evolution, animal cognition and the nature-nurture debate.
Linda Tuhiwai Smith, of Waikato University, won the Dame Joan Metge Medal for her outstanding contribution in developing the capacity of Maori researchers.
Until recently, Sir Mason was assistant vice chancellor of Maori and Pacifica at Massey University, and also contributed significantly to social sciences and Maori health.