Dame Aroha Reriti-Crofts recognised for 50 years of service to Māori

By Jessica Tyson
Dame Aroha Reriti-Crofts recognised in 2020 Queens Honours List - Photo / Te Karaka Ngāi Tahu

Aroha Reriti-Crofts is to become a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Māori and the community.

Reriti-Crofts has been involved with supporting the community for more than 50 years after first becoming a member of Māori Women’s Welfare League in 1968.

She first joined the league as a single mother of four.

“I decided I wanted something more than just being a housewife, she told Te Karaka.  

“I listened to other people talking. I believe the observer learns a lot just sitting and listening and watching, and I learnt all those beautiful things of how to express oneself.”

Reriti-Crofts served a term as national and international president of the league from 1990 to 1993 and is still a life member at the Ōtautahi, Christchurch branch.

Māori Women’s Development Inc.

Since 1993, Reriti-Crofts has been a trustee, director and chairperson of Māori Women’s Development Inc.

She says this was the lead set up to finance loans for Māori women who want to set up a business or extend their current business.

That same year she was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Reriti-Crofts has been the rūnanga representative of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu representing Ngāi Tūāhuriri.

She has been a Trustee of Partnership Health Canterbury and the Southern Regional Health Authority Board of Directors.

She is Chairperson of Matapopore Charitable Trust, culturally advising and guiding developers in the re-build of Christchurch. She was Chairperson of Poutama Training Centre Trust and a Board member of the Ngai Tahu Development Corporation.

Other achievements

  • Chairperson of Nga Maia Māori Midwives Trust and a member of the Management Committees for both Rakaia Māori Land Inc. and Mawhera Māori Land Inc.
  • Supervisor of the Whānau Toko i te Ora Parenting Programme. She is a member of Te Ropu Whakaruruhau Breast Feeding Authority and Te Rōpū Kawa Whakaruruhau at ARA.
  • Member of the Whānau Reference Group for the Families Commission, Quest Rapuara, Māori Education Trust, Kōhanga Reo National Trust, and Enterprise Waitaha.
  • Kaumātua and cultural advisor for the Queen Mary Hospital Group until its closure.
    • Trustee of Te Puāwaitanga Māori Health Provider and Kaumātua of Waimakariri District Council