The Chairman of East Coast iwi Ngati Porou says the honour which Victoria University has given to a Wellington kaumatua is richly deserved.
The university has awarded Paekiomeka Ruha the Hunter Fellowship, which is the most distinguished general award the university can bestow.
It recognises the substantial contribution she's made to advancing Victoria's strategic directions and interests.
Apirana Mahuika from Gisborne says Pae Ruha has given her life to education and spent many years heading the Maori Studies department at the Correspondence School.
He says Pae Ruha is one of the treasures of Maoridom in every respect of the word.
Dr Mahuika says as well as being prominent in education, she's been passionate about preserving waiata composed by people such as Sir Apirana Ngata and Kingi Ihaka, through the Kaumatua Kapa Haka festival.