18 Jul 2009

Honorary doctorate for creator of new meeting house

6:16 am on 18 July 2009

Unitec has awarded an honorary doctorate to the creator of its new meeting house.

In a ceremony on Friday afternoon at Te Noho Kotahitanga marae, academic board head Ray Meldrum said the doctorate in education recognised Lyonel Grant's contribution to the New Zealand educational, cultural and artistic landscape.

He says the house, which took six years to complete, is a legacy to those Mr Grant learned from and will be an education for those yet to come.

Mr Grant, from Ngati Pikiao, said he accepted the degree as a way of recognising the huge collective effort required in building a wharenui.

Waatea News reports Mr Grant was supported at the ceremony by a large group from Ngati Pikiao and from Ngati Manawa, who provided the timber.

Kaumatua Arapeta Tahana says Mr Grant is among a long line of Ngati Pikiao master carvers, known for houses not just in the Bay of Plenty but throughout the motu.