It was wonderful to see Ta Tipene O’Regan honoured for his amazing service to Māori and to this country. I had the pleasure of chairing Whalewatch board for nearly 18 years and it was my task to minimise Tipene’s stories. They were plentiful and colourful, as one would expect from a Māori also a son of Mother Ireland.
This country owes Tipene much and this is a well-deserved honour.
On Saturday morning Kim Hill had an excellent, and way too short, interview with Tipene. I recommend this and here is a link to it https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/2018836715/ta-tipene-o-regan-a-life-spent-building-a-bicultural-nation.
After nearly two decades as Directors Tipene and I left the Whalewatch board at the same time and we were both given a taonga carved from a whale tooth by Brian Flintoff, of Nelson. Tipene has his on display here. Mine is the other half of the same tooth. Those whales would make dentistry much easier with teeth this large.