Mrs Te Maari Whare, of Rotorua, ONZM for services to Māori language education
Te Maari Whare (Ngāti Parua, Ngāti Pikiao, Tuhourangi Te Arawa, Rangitane, Ngāti Kahungunu) was a founding member of the Kōhanga Reo movement in the South Island and the first Kaiako of Te Kōhanga Reo o Hohepa in Christchurch. She was employed with Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust, teaching children at Ngongotahā Kōhanga Reo in Rotorua, before becoming a Regional Manager for the Trust for the Waiariki/Tūwharetoa region. She remains active as a volunteer for kōhanga reo in her area and on Ngāti Pikiao marae. She worked with the Education Review Office to review Kōhanga Reo and Kura. Mrs Whare is a Kuia and Council Elder for Ngāti Pikiao, performing Kai Karanga for the marae and across the region, and helped through her iwi during the COVID-19 pandemic.