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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

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Professor Sir Derek Lardelli has been recognised for his dedication to Māori art

EIT is excited to announce that Professor Sir Derek Lardelli ONZM has been knighted for his services to Māori art in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

“It is with great excitement and admiration that we acknowledge Ahorangi Derek Lardelli’s naming as a Knight, in the 2020 Order of New Zealand Merit for services to Māori art. We congratulate him, and his family, in what must be a tremendous moment for his whānau”, says EIT’s acting CEO Bill Kimberley. “We at EIT are very proud of his achievement, and we along with the rest of Tairāwhiti, celebrate his success.”

Of Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Konohi and Ngai Te Aweawe descent, Sir Derek has earned an international reputation for his knowledge of tā moko and its spiritual significance, working to retain and develop the rituals, karakia and oral histories associated with tā moko. He is also a painter, carver, kapahaka performer, composer, graphic designer, researcher of whakapapa and oral histories and kaikōrero.

Based in Tairāwhiti, Sir Derek is founding principal tutor at EIT’s Toihoukura in Tairāwhiti where he has developed a suite of programmes across a range of Māori visual arts. With a Master of Fine Arts and a Diploma of Teaching, Sir Derek has consistently focused on the need to improve Māori educational outcomes using art as a medium. In 2011, he was awarded the title Professor/Ahorangi. In May 2019, an Honorary Doctorate was bestowed on Sir Derek by the University of Waikato.

“The knighthood recognises Derek’s dedication to Māori art, in all its forms including but not limited to, whakairo, haka, and the resurgence of moko, an art form that was seemingly on the brink of being lost. Acknowledged not only as practitioner, but for his leadership and foresight in the development of Toihoukura that continues to push, prod and encourage the next generation of Māori creatives,” says Mr Kimberley.