Dr Tui Adams (QSO Hon PhD (Waikato); Adj Professor (TWoA)) was a well respected Tainui kaumatua and cultural expert. Mr Bentham Ohia, CEO of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa said of Dr Adams:
He was a reservoir of knowledge and an expert in the knowledge systems of Waikato, Maniapoto, Hauraki and Raukawa… Koro Tui was a man steeped in learning, who carried himself with humility and a quiet dignity. He was an exceptionally generous man who committed his life to sharing the knowledge he had acquired, and in nurturing a passion for learning in others… His passing leaves a great sadness in me and among the multitudes of people he touched. He was a deep well of knowledge who will be greatly missed. I will miss him, and have deep aroha for his whanau at this time” sadly and respectfully said Mr Ohia.
Dr Adams was a bedrock of support for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa co-founder and Tumuaki Rongo Wetere. A commitment continued, following the resignation of Dr Wetere, when Mr Ohia was appointed Te Pouhere.
Dr Adams was a kaumatua of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and senior tutor of Te Arataki Manu Kōrero programme, a programme he co-founded with Dr Wetere. Te Arataki Manu Kōrero assist Tainui elders better understand Tainui tikanga and history. It was set up by Dr Adams to ensure the continuity of Tainui traditions and identity with a specific focus on kaumatua – the traditional repositories of Māori knowledge. The programme has continued to be very successful and has been adopted by many iwi and rohe throughout the country.
He was a recipient of the Queen Services Medal in 2000 for services to the Māori community and in 2003 received an honorary doctorate from The University of Waikato. Moe Mai Ra e te Rangatira.