The Minister of Māori Affairs, Dr Pita Sharples, today (13 November 2009) announced the re-appointment of Mrs Keita Walker, Mr John Baird, Sir Hirini Mead, Professor Ranginui Walker and Dr Angela Ballara to the Waitangi Tribunal, each for a term of three years.
“Each of the re-appointees has comprehensive Tribunal experience and is highly valued for their contributions to the Tribunal. They also have a wealth of experience and skill that is very important to the Tribunal,” said Dr Sharples.
Keita Walker was first appointed to the Tribunal in 1993. She has a strong history of active involvement in the Māori community. She is a fluent speaker of te reo Māori, has an extensive knowledge of tikanga Māori, and is a licensed Māori/ English interpreter.
John Baird joined the Tribunal in 1999. He is a former Managing Director of Ceramco Corp Ltd and Goodman Fielder Wattie (NZ), and he has an extensive marketing and business management background.
Sir Hirini Mead was first appointed to the Tribunal in 2003. He has a history of involvement in the area of Māori development, particularly in the fields of education, intellectual and cultural property rights and Treaty claims.
Professor Ranginui Walker became a Tribunal member in 2003. He has a long history of involvement in the New Zealand education sector, both tertiary and primary. He was professor of Māori studies at Auckland University from 1993 to 1997, specialising in Māori studies and Anthropology. In 1997 he was appointed as Pro Vice Chancellor (Māori) at Auckland University.
Dr Angela Ballara was first appointed to the Tribunal in 2003. She is considered to be one of the foremost academic authorities on Māori customary history, and has written extensively on race relations in New Zealand.
“I offer my warm congratulations to each of the members on their respective reappointments”, said Dr Sharples.