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Mason Durie Honoured 2003 Public Health Champion

For Use 3 July 2003




The Public Health Association today honoured and recognized Professor Mason Durie as its 2003 Public Health Champion.

One of the country's leading public health figures, Professor Mason Durie is of Rangitane, Ngati Kauwhata and Ngati Raukawa descent. He is currently Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Maori) and Professor of Maori Research and Development at Massey University.

At the PHA conference today at Turangawaewae, president Marty Rogers said Professor Durie was a remarkable and tireless worker for public health and Maori health development.

"He is at the forefront of thinking and conceptualising issues and solutions that lead and drive public health in Aotearoa New Zealand," she said.

"He has the rare ability to articulate and translate complex ideas to people across all spectrums of society. Mason does this with humility and simplicity. He is a very worthy public health champion, whose recognition in this field is well overdue."

Mason Durie attended Te Aute College and later studied medicine at the University of Otago, graduating MB ChB in 1963. He then obtained a D.Psych. from McGill University, Montreal and a Doctor of Literature from Massey University in Palmerston North Hospital, and as a Commissioner on the Royal Commission on Social Policy from 1986 until 1988, he was appointed to the chair in Maori Studies at Massey University.

His continuing interest in health, mental health and social policy is reflected in an extensive range of publications and research achievements.

In addition to his teaching and research activities, he has served on a number of community and national organisations including the National Health Committee; Foundation for Research, Science and Technology; Te Papa Tongarewa - the Museum of New Zealand; the Law Commission (Maori Advisory Committee); the Mental Health Foundation; Alcohol Advisory Council; the NZ Board of Health; and the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Maori Health.

He was Chair of Te Runanga o Raukawa and between 1990 and 1995 was secretary to the Maori Congress.

Professor Mason Durie is married to Dr. Arohia Durie, Professor of Maori Education at Massey University. They have four children and live at Aorangi near Feilding.


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