Dr. Terry Ryan

Dr Ryan is Kāwai Kaitiaki of the Ngāi Tahu Whakapapa Unit. He is the acknowledged authority on the contemporary whakapapa of Ngāi Tahu and has worked for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu since 1974.

Born in the Northland settlement of Waipu, Terry attended Wesley College in the Waikato. A lifelong interest in Māori land title and its link with personal identity was kindled there.  From college, he lived with the Methodist Māori Mission at Te Rahui Taane, in Hamilton.

He has served Māoridom and Aotearoa New Zealand in many roles over the years – Māori land Court Clerk; Māori Land Court Title Improvement Officer; Senior Court Clerk and Deputy Registrar, South Island Māori Land Court; Trade Trainee Officer, Department of Māori Affairs; Private Secretary to the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Social Welfare; and Adviser to the Inland Revenue Department.

When Terry moved to the South Island he became involved again with Māori Methodist Mission, particularly with its involvement in Māori trade training, the Rehua Māori Apprentices Hostel, Rehua Marae and Waitaha Cultural Council. He is the longest serving, continuously active, member of the Council’s executive.

He has served on an immense number of community, civic and cultural organisations and is a Life Member of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. He is also a Justice of the Peace, lay preacher and marriage celebrant. He was awarded an MBE in 1995 for services to iwi Māori of Te Waipounamu.

Terry is proud of all his lines of descent, Celtic and Māori, and his family’s affiliations with Te Tai Tokerau, Waikato and Te Waipounamu.


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