Kerikeri resident Rahera Shortland has been awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Maori, education and television.
Mrs Shortland (Ngapuhi) has spent her lifetime career teaching te reo Maori and tutoring kapa haka in secondary schools. She established the first total immersion Maori language unit in a secondary school, at Auckland Girls' Grammar.
In 2015 Mrs Shortland was awarded Te Tohu Aroha mo Ngoi Kumeroa Pewhairangi in the prestigious Creative New Zealand Te Waka Toi Awards for her contribution to strengthening te reo. She helped establish and now chairs Te Ataarangi Educational Trust at the forefront of Maori language revitalisation.
Mrs Shortland is a tutor at Nga Kura Reo o te Motu and a director of Te Maunga Enterprises, which provides consultancy services and language programmes for Maori Television Service (MTS).
She has been an active member of Te Putahi Paoho, the Maori Television Electoral College for stakeholders. Mrs Shortland is a licensed translator and interpreter and is also an author.