Investitures: Author Witi Ihimaera
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Author accepts honour
13 August 2004 Writer Witi Ihimaera is congratulated by Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright on his investiture as Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, one of the country''s highest decorations. Mr Ihimaera received the award for his services to literature at an investiture ceremony at Government House in Wellington today. His citation reads: Professor Ihimaera Smiler is one of New Zealand’s foremost authors. Among his works are “Pounamu, Pounamu”; “Whanau”, ”Maori”, “The New Net Goes Fishing” and “The Whale Rider”. He was a Burns Fellow at the University of Otago in 1975 and received a writing fellowship at Victoria University of Wellington in 1989. In 1991 he was awarded a Scholarship in Letters and in 1993 was the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellow. In 1992 he joined the English Department of the University of Auckland and in 1996 was given professorial status and the title of “Distinguished Creative Fellow in Maori Literature”. He has been closely involved in Maori and South Pacific issues and has been a guest speaker at major hui and overseas conferences on biculturalism, Maori sovereignty, and New Zealand life and literature.