Year: 1947 - 1951
Occupation: Maori leader & Maori All Black
Ihakara Porutu Puketapu has excelled in two careers, the first as a path breaking senior public servant, the second as an inspirational leader in community and economic development. His first career began as a probation and welfare officer, after which he served for a the States Services Commission, becoming Assistant Commissioner and was then Appointed Secretary of Maori Affairs. His innovations include Hui Taumata, Kohanga Reo movement and the Tu Tangata (stand tall) programme, Kokiri, or community based training centres, reforms of the Maori Land Court, important programmes for the development of Maori assets, and the encouragement of Maori to join the public service and fill significant positions there. The most visible accomplishment was the exhibition Te Maori, which brought Maori art and New Zealand’s wider culture to international attention. In 1983 left the public service and helped establish and became Chief Executive Officer of Te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui Ki Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui, a health provider, manager of customary fisheries, broadcaster and trading organization. He chairs the Te Aroha Hutt Valley Association, the Waiwhetu Marae and Kohanga Reo, leads the Hauora a Iwi Trust for regional Maori health services, has served on the boards of Hutt Valley Health and Quality Hotels New Zealand, and was responsible for an updated version of Tu Tangata. A Wellington rugby representative and Maori All Black, Kara has coached the Wainuiomata Rugby League team to a national title, chaired the Te Aroha league club when it won the Wellington championship, and is currently working to establish a sports academy.