June 01, 2023
Knighthood accepted to honour bicultural trailblazers
Māoridom’s newest knight says the investiture ceremony was a chance to remember all those who have come before him and worked to make Aotearoa New Zealand the most liveable small democracy on the planet, combining Māori philosophy and the best of British tradition.
Haare Williams was in Wellington on Tuesday for the ceremony at Government House and a function in Parliament later that evening organised by his daughter, Manurewa MP Arena Williams.
He talked about the people who enriched New Zealand’s bicultural society, like Ranginui Walker, Sir Graham Latimer, Sir Hugh Kawharu, Dame Mira Szazy and many others.
He told Radio Waatea talk host Merepeka Raukawa-Tait that when he was offered the tohu he wrote two letters – one turning it down and the other accepting it.
“First of all I showed it to my children,. the one to turn it down. They all said no, accept it, it’s a New Zealand award. I showed it to my iwi in Turanganui a Kiwa and Ohope and there was a unanimous comment I should accept it,” Sir Haare says.