New Cultural Commissioner joins National Commission

The New Zealand National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Commissioner for Culture.

Dr Dan Hikuroa (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato-Tainui, Pākehā) has been appointed to the position of Commissioner – Culture, for a three year term and replaces outgoing Commissioner, Arapata Hakiwai.

Dr Hikuroa has a PhD in Geology and is currently Senior Lecturer, Te Wānanga o Waipapa, Māori Studies, at the University of Auckland, where he has also lectured in Anthropology and Geology.

Dan has been spearheading alternative ways of assessing sustainability, including weaving indigenous knowledge and epistemologies into legislation, assessment frameworks and decision-support tools.

Dan’s expertise in the areas of Earth Systems, Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge and ways of knowing), climate change, natural hazards and rivers have seen him driving community and participatory projects that have included: marine spatial planning; environmental management plans; natural resource use and management; natural hazards, disaster risk reduction, resilience; and industrial waste-site rehabilitation.

He uses Kaupapa Māori methods in his work with Māori communities to realise dreams and problem solve.

He is Deputy Chair of Ngā Kaihautū Tikanga Taiao – Māori Statutory Advisory to the Environmental Protection Authority Board, Co-Deputy Director Engagement Te Pūnaha Matatini, and researcher in Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, Resilience to Natures Challenges and Sustainable Seas.

Dan is passionate about research that asks, “what is most valuable to the people I am working with”?

He was appointed by Associate Education Minister, Hon Jenny Salesa.