The highest honour in New Zealand will be bestowed on Sir Mason Durie today, in the first of a week of ceremonies to recognise recipients of 2021 New Years Honours.
The 82-year-old professor of Māori Studies will receive the Order of New Zealand on Monday afternoon.
The honour was created in 1987 to recognise outstanding service to the Crown and people of New Zealand in a civil or military capacity.
Sir Mason has been at the forefront of a transformational approach to Māori health and has played a major role in building the Māori health workforce.
Hosted at Wellington's Government House by the Governor-General, the Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, and Sir David Gascoigne, eight investiture ceremonies are being held this week to officially celebrate recipients named in the 2021 New Years Honours list.
Among the award recipients later in the week will be television producer and businessman Sir Ian Taylor, who will receive a KNZM - Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Recognised for his services to broadcasting, business and the community, Sir Taylor worked as a presenter, producer, writer and director for TVNZ between 1977 and 1989 and later made children's programmes through Animation Research.
On Wednesday, All Black Conrad Smith will also receive his MNZM – a member for the Order of Merit - for services to rugby.
On Friday, Wellington epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker will be awarded a MNZM – a member for the Order of Merit - for his services to public health.
Baker, whose advice has helped influence the Government's coronavirus strategy, is the director of the Health Environment Infection Research Unit (HEIRU), and has been a professor of public health at the University of Otago in Wellington since 2013.
Wellingtonian Victor Rodger will also receive a ONZM on Friday, for services to theatre and Pacific arts.
Public health educator Dame Cindy Kiro will also be made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to child wellbeing and education.
The Whangārei-born academic has dedicated her life to improving outcomes for young people, particularly those in socially marginalised groups. She is currently the pro vice-chancellor Māori at the University of Auckland where she has led the development of a formal te reo Māori policy.
A total of 154 people will be recognised for a significant achievement or for serving their community in the 2021 New Years Honours list.