The Māori economy is worth more than $52bil and some of its movers and shakers were celebrated at the 15th Māori Business Leaders Awards on Friday, hosted by the University of Auckland.
This year’s Dame Mira Szaszy Award was awarded to Rereata Makiha for his work in Māori astrology.
For Makiha the award represented a personal connection.
“The honour is extra special because I was fortunate to work for the late Dame Mira Szaszy in my youth. In our work, we assisted community groups and marae.”
Makiha says his work is driven by one key philosophy.
“Nothing was ever created or emerged in this world to live in isolation. Even a hidden phase can be detected by its impact on something.”
Astrology has become an area of interest in North Hokianga, a dark-sky reserve is under consideration that could help expand tourism.
“It sounds like a good idea but I have some concerns. I wouldn’t want to see our ancestral knowledge of Nukutāwhiti and Ruanui suppressed or influenced by non-Māori.”
Makiha will continue to share his ancestral knowledge with future generations through marae-wānanga.