Joan Metge

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Dame Joan Metge

Alice Joan Metge

(1930-02-21) 21 February 1930 (age 90)
Auckland, New Zealand
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Auckland
London School of Economics
Academic work

Dame Alice Joan Metge DBE (born 21 February 1930) is a New Zealand social anthropologist, educator, lecturer and writer.


Metge was born in the Auckland suburb of Mount Roskill on 21 February 1930, the daughter of Alice Mary Metge (née Rigg) and Cedric Leslie Metge.[1][2] She was educated at Matamata District High School and Epsom Girls' Grammar School.[1] She went on to study at Auckland University College, graduating Master of Arts with first-class honours in 1952,[3] and the London School of Economics where she earned her PhD in 1958.

As of 2004, she continued to advance peace initiatives via her work as a member of the Waitangi National Trust Board, a conference presenter, adviser, and as a mentor to mediators and conflict management practitioners. A scholar on Māori topics, she has been recognised for promoting cross-cultural awareness and has published a number of books and articles in her career. She has likened the relationship among the people of New Zealand to "a rope [of] many strands which when woven or working together create a strong nation" (as paraphrased by Silvia Cartwright).[4]

Awards and honours[edit]

Metge was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1987 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to anthropology.[5] In 1990, she received the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal.[1] She was awarded the Royal Society of New Zealand's Te Rangi Hiroa Medal for her research in the social sciences in 1997.[6] In 2001, the University of Auckland awarded Metge an honorary LittD degree.[7] In 2006 she received the Asia-Pacific Mediation Forum Peace Prize in Suva, Fiji.[8]


In recognition of Metge's contribution to social sciences, the Royal Society of New Zealand established the Dame Joan Metge Medal in 2006, which is awarded every two years to a New Zealand social scientist for excellence in teaching, research and/or other activities contributing to capacity building and beneficial relationships between research participants.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Taylor, Alister; Coddington, Deborah (1994). Honoured by the Queen – New Zealand. Auckland: New Zealand Who's Who Aotearoa. p. 264. ISBN 0-908578-34-2.
  2. ^ "Births". New Zealand Herald. 26 February 1930. p. 1. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  3. ^ "NZ university graduates 1870–1961: Me–Mo". Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Dame Silvia Cartwright's address at a Garden Party at Government House, Wellington, to commemorate the 164th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi". The Governor-General of New Zealand. 6 February 2004. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
  5. ^ London Gazette (supplement), No. 50950, 12 June 1987. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  6. ^ Te Rangi Hiroa Medal - Recipients. Royal Society of New Zealand. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  7. ^ University of Auckland Calendar 2003 (PDF). p. 633. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 December 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  8. ^ "2006 Asia-Pacific Mediation Forum Peace Prize". Scoop. 3 July 2006. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
  9. ^ "Dame Joan Metge Medal". Royal Society of New Zealand. 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2015.