Published : 19 November 2021

Tā Wira Gardiner’s distinguished public service was celebrated today by Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes with a Spirit of Service Lifetime Achievement Award.

This award honours an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to New Zealand or their community and who exemplifies a spirit of service.

Tā Wira is affiliated to Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Te Whakatōhea, Ngāti Awa, and Ngāti Pikiao.

“In his many years in the Public Service and time in the Army, Tā Wira always left a mark,” said Mr Hughes.

“He has influenced generations of public servants through his authenticity and steadfast commitment to serving the people of New Zealand. Many exceptional public servants are what they are because of Tā Wira’s mentorship and inspirational example.

“Tā Wira was called on time and time again to assist in the resolution of major Māori Crown relationship issues. His dedication came from a desire to make a difference in our country.”

The Lifetime Achievement recipient is selected by the Public Service Commissioner and is part of the annual Te Hāpai Hapori | Spirit of Service Awards.

“These awards are part of how we recognise the spirit of service in action across the Public Service,” said Mr Hughes.

The ceremony took place at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in Whakatāne, where Tā Wira was awarded an honorary doctorate from Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato by The Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand.

The other winners of the 2021 Spirit of Service Awards will be announced at a virtual event on 24 November 2021. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented early at this special ceremony honouring Tā Wira.

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Media queries: Guy Chisholm: 021 356 926. 

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