24 May 2013

Chair of Ngai Tahu knighted

10:18 pm on 24 May 2013

The chair of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu has been officially knighted.

Mark Solomon was one of five people to be honoured for services to Maori at investiture ceremonies at Government House in Wellington this week.

He's been the chair of the South Island tribes council since 1998. In that time its assets base has grown to more than $500 million.

Sir Mark says it took a lot of hard work by many but what he did differently to others was to engage with the community.

He says the main issue that confronts Maoridom is ignorance because people know nothing about tribes and hapu.

As a result, Sir Mark says a good part of his role post-Treaty settlement was getting out into the community and demystifying Ngai Tahu; showing people the iwi is not a threat but a proactive sector of the community.

He says it was an amazing day and a huge honour but is still left wondering who nominated him.

Others honoured for services to Maori include Hohi Keri Kaa, Senior Constable John Tangaere, Henare Tau and Dr David Taylor.