Former Zealandia executive manager Patrick Snedden has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education and Māori.

Mr Snedden is the inaugural chair of the Manaiakalani Education Trust, established in 2011.

Launched in Tamaki in east Auckland, the trust supports schools to use an advanced digital method of teaching, which accelerates learning achievement for students, mostly Māori and Pacific. It fosters a Public Good Partnership with corporate, philanthropic and government sectors to fund innovation in teaching practice.

Critical to the success is that low-income parents invest in their children’s technology through the trust via micro-finance. Manaiakalani schools now accelerate their learners at achievement levels well in advance of national norms and their NCEA results are rising to meet and exceed Government targets.

The programme is currently in 50 schools nationwide, servicing 12,000 students.

Mr Snedden worked as economic advisor for Ngati Whatua ki Orakei for 19 years. He was a founding director of Mai FM, the first commercial Māori radio station. From 2008 to 2013 he was Chief Crown Negotiator for the Muriwhenua and He Toa Takitini Treaty settlements. In 2006, Mr Snedden’s book Pakeha and the Treaty, Why it’s our Treaty too won the Best New Book Award, Non-Fiction at the New Zealand Book Awards.

He has had many other roles including publishing and in governance, notably in the public sector.