Betty Hauraki is one our longest serving employees and we were delighted when she received the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award, Te Tohu Oranga Angitū at the Spirit of Service Awards hosted by the Public Service Commission, Te Kawa Mataaho.
The citation read at the awards ceremony by Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes is below:
He tuitui tangata
He tuitui korowai
Bringing people together is like weaving a fine cloak.
We pay tribute to a veteran public servant responsible for bringing people together and helping to weave the fine cloak we know as Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, Māori Language Week.
This year more than one million people came together to celebrate te reo in what was the largest Māori language event in New Zealand history.
Betty Hauraki embodies the spirit of public service.
A descendent of Rongowhakaata and Ngāti Porou: it is fitting that we are here at Te Papa because Betty’s ancestral house, Te Hau ki Turanga stands not far from us.
Betty’s public service career began more than fifty years ago at the National Airways Corporation in Gisborne, moving to the Post Office when her whānau moved to Wellington.
Based within Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, the Māori Language Commission for the past two decades, Betty’s passion, drive and ability to weave people together has helped turn a small community event into one of New Zealand’s biggest celebrations.
From a young girl in Manutuke growing up in a country where te reo was banned at school, to a kuia helping design a virtual Māori Language Week, working fulltime during level four lockdown: Betty’s dedication and passion - her spirit of service - has been instrumental in the revitalisation of te reo.
It is therefore more than fitting that Betty receives the 2020 Spirit of Service Lifetime Achievement Award.