Sir Tipene O'Regan

Board chair
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga

Sir Tipene O’Regan is the retired Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori of the University of Canterbury and former long-serving Chairman of the Ngāi Tahu Māori Trust Board. He remains as Adjunct Professor in the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre at the University of Canterbury and as a Fellow of the University of Auckland where he chairs Ngā Pae o Te Maramatanga, the Centre for Māori Research Excellence. He holds a D.Litt (Hons) from the University of Canterbury, a D.Comm (Hons) from Lincoln University and a D.Comm (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Directors and recently retired from a 28 year term as a member of the New Zealand Geographic Board.

Sir Tipene led the Ngāi Tahu Claims process before the Waitangi Tribunal from 1986, culminating in a notable settlement with the Crown in 1998. He was the architect of the Treaty Fisheries Settlements in 1989 and 1992 and became the founding Chairman of Te Ohu Kai Moana, the Māori Fisheries Trust. He has been chairman and director of a wide range of entities in both the public and private sectors and has held major board appointments in both the heritage and environment sectors. Sir Tipene currently chairs Te Pae Korako and Te Pae Kaihika for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

These two bodies lead the tribe’s work in developing the Ngāi Tahu archive, GIS cultural mapping and authentication of traditional history. His personal scholarly interest is largely in traditional history and ethnology of Ngāi Tahu and Te Waipounamu. In more recent years Sir Tipene has become a widely recognised participant in the debate on the shape and character of the Māori economy and the modernising of iwi governance models. He was made a Knight Bachelor in 1994.