Treaty negotiator ‘humbled and privileged’
A desire to serve the community has made Harry Burkhardt an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Burkhardt, who lives in Newton, received the Queen’s Birthday honour for his services to Maori.
Coming from a commercial background, Burkhardt says he has enjoyed being able to give back to the community through the skills learnt in his various roles.
Burkhardt is the chairman of the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and the Ngati Kuri Trust Board. He was one of Ngati Kuri’s treaty negotiators which after 25 years signed a deed of settlement with the Crown in February 2014, making it the fourth iwi of Muriwhenua to have reached such an agreement.
Burkhardt says reinvesting back into his iwi is important to him.
‘‘Many have contributed to where we are today.
‘‘There is still much more to do. To be part of this going forward would be a wonderful privilege,’’ he says.
Burkhardt is also a member of the Investment Advisory Panel for Primary Growth Partnerships, an executive member of the Packaging Council and a trustee on the A+ Trust.
Burkhardt says he has never set clear life goals, but feels driven to serve others.
‘‘I was born and bred in Kaitaia, after graduating from Auckland University I was out in the real world, like any young guy I did not have a clear path.
‘‘I just followed my nose, looking back now I can see that all the hard work has been worth it.
‘‘I feel both very humbled and privileged to be receiving the honour,’’ he says.
Burkhardt has extensive governance experience.
He was an appointed board member on the Auckland District Health Board from 2003 to 2010.
Burkhardt chaired the Audit Risk and Finance Committee from 2004 to 2007 and was then deputy chairman and chairman of the Finance Committee from 2007 to 2010. He also chaired the Ngati Whatua o Orakei Health Clinic from 2010 to 2014.
In 2007 Burkhardt was part of a Maori Economic Development working group in Taranaki, a joint initiative between Venture Taranaki and the Maori health provider Tui Ora.