Treaty ne­go­tia­tor ‘hum­bled and priv­i­leged’

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By TOM CARNEGIE

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.

Harry Burkhardt

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