Sir Tipene O’Regan has worked tirelessly throughout his life to improve the economic, cultural and social standing of Māori communities.
Sir Tipene was pivotal in bringing about the 1997 Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement and the subsequent Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998. This laid the foundations for a tribal asset portfolio that currently stands in excess of $1.8 billion and set a number of benchmarks for the historical Treaty claims process. He helped negotiate and shape legislative responses to Māori interests in fisheries, both commercial and non-commercial, and was the founding Chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana (Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission). He established the Ngāi Tahu Archive in 1978. Since 2012 he has chaired Te Pae Kōrako, a standing committee of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu that oversees the Ngāi Tahu Archive Strategy together with its publishing and other initiatives. He was appointed Upoko of Te Runaka o Awarua in 1999 and has overseen growth of Te Rau Aroha Marae, notably the development and opening of its whare-tipuna, Tahupōtiki in 2003. He chaired Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand's Māori Centre of Research Excellence at the University of Auckland from 2006 to 2018. He was the founding Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Māori) at the University of Canterbury until 2011. Sir Tipene was Deputy Chair of Transit New Zealand from 2000 to 2006, and a member of the New Zealand Geographic Board from 1985 to 2013, making a significant contribution to its bi-cultural evolution and publications.
Knight Bachelor, Queen’s Birthday 1994