By David Watt and Niki Partsch
Three Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga staff received honours in the King’s Birthday New Zealand Honours List last month.
Jim Schuster (Te Arawa, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Hinekura, Tuhourangi, Ngāti Wahiao, Ngāti Tarawhai, Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Umutahi) was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to Māori arts and heritage preservation.
Jim has worked for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga for 20 years, his current role is Pouārahi, Traditional Arts. A renown master weaver, specialist carver and kōwhaiwhai painter Jim has made a significant contribution to restorations at marae across the North Island and even abroad. Jim was a major contributor in discussions leading to the agreed return of Hinemihi meeting house from in England to New Zealand. He also led a restoration project of the Rauru Meeting House in the Fur Volkerkunde Museum, Hamburg, hosting workshops to train future generations of Māori traditional arts practitioners.
Dean Whiting (Te Whānau ā Apanui) was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Māori arts.
Dean is Deputy Chief Executive, Kaihautū Māori/Director Māori Heritage for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. He has made a significant committment to Māori arts revitalisation and preservation while providing hands on leadership to the Māori built heritage team, and a range of services and advice to Māori communities.
Dean has served on the Boards of the Arts Council of New Zealand (the governing body of Creative New Zealand), ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) and as Project Conservator at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
Read more here.
Sunita Narayan has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to language education and the Indian community.
Sunita recently began work as the Training and Development Advisor at Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, the staff of which benefit greatly from her extensive, and now recognised, experience.
She has been a driving force for the Wellington Hindi School and Hindi education in New Zealand since 1995. In a voluntary capacity, she has variously been a teacher, fundraiser, budget manager, administrator, and operations manager for the Wellington Hindi School and in support of others in New Zealand setting up Hindi schools and classes.
Sunita has led a community project team developing curriculum and teaching guidelines for migrant children growing up in New Zealand and heritage language teachers.
She co-founded the Indian Languages and Research Foundation and assisted several organisations including AFS, AsiaNZ and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.