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Lincoln doctorates for Sir Tipene and PCE

19 April 2004
- for immediate use

Lincoln doctorates for Sir Tipene and Parliamentary Environment Commissioner

Former Ngai Tahu tribal leader Sir Tipene O’Regan and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Morgan Williams receive honorary doctorates at Lincoln University’s Graduation Ceremony in Christchurch Town Hall this Friday. (23 April)

Sir Tipene will be made a Doctor of Commerce for his contributions to Maori leadership, business activities, commercial enterprise and entrepreneurship, and Dr Williams will receive a Doctor of Natural Resources degree for the leadership and inspiration he has given to the drive for environmental sustainability in New Zealand.

Lincoln University’s citation describes Sir Tipene as “transcending local connections to become one of a select band of Maori leaders identified with the nation as a whole”.

Although forever identified most prominently with leadership of the mammoth negotiation process and eventual settlement of Ngai Tahu’s generations-long claims over its lands and fisheries grievances, Sir Tipene’s involvement in the educational, cultural, business, commercial, community, and political life of New Zealand has been immense and far-reaching, says the University.

Dr Williams is only the second Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment since the post was established in 1987 and his predecessor, Helen Hughes, was the first recipient of an honorary doctorate awarded by Lincoln University when it introduced the practice in 1993.

In his term of office Dr Williams has made a particular point of concentrating on evironmental sustainability matters that are not always conspicuous on political, community or business agendas.

For example, on urbanisation he has said that New Zealanders “know more about growing ryegrass than about how cities grow” and he has urged the country to start planning its cities “as if we believe there is a tomorrow”.


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