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Dr. Pita Sharples
Pita Sharples (Ngai Te Kikiri o te Rangi and Ngāti Pahauwera) has a doctorate in anthropology/linguistics and is formerly Professor of Education at the University of Auckland.

His lifelong passion has centred around Hoani Waititi marae, one of Aotearoa's first intertribal marae for urban Māori, which he built. Dr Sharples founded the first kura kaupapa Māori in the country at Hoani Waititi in 1985, and later developed the first whare kura (secondary school) for graduates of kura kaupapa.

Dr Sharples has also created the New Zealand National School of Māori Weaponry, which he was appointed to as Tumu Whakarae (Master). He has established Te Roopu Manutaki Māori Cultural Group, which he has led, composed and choreographed for 32 years.

Dr Sharples pioneered the development of the Race Relations office in NZ and was appointed the inaugural chief executive officer from 1972-1980.