Latest News

From pig hunting to acclaimed professor, Matua Pou's destiny always lay in the Maori world

From pig hunting to acclaimed professor, Matua Pou’s destiny always lay in the Maori world

(Waikato Times) Pou Temara went from a ponga hut in the bush, speaking no English, to a boarding school in Auckland, and is now a highly acclaimed professor after an epiphany brought him back to his roots.

The University of Waikato professor was recently acknowledged at the national Te Waka Toi Awards which celebrate excellence in Maori arts.

Prof Temara, who is Ngai Tuhoe, was presented with Te Tohu Aroha m? Ngoi Kumeroa P?whairangi, an annual award in honour of the late Ngoi Kumeroa Pewhairangi for “leadership and outstanding contribution to the promotion and strengthening of Te Reo Rangatira”.

His extensive knowledge of whaik?rero (oratory), whakapapa (genealogy) and karakia (prayers and incantations) has made him a cultural authority.

Prof Temara didn’t speak English until he was eight-years-old, growing up with his grandparents in the bush in the heart of the Urewera, in a ponga hut with an earth floor.

From there he went to boarding school in Auckland and says he could have easily left his old world behind.

But when I was 25 I had what you might call an epiphany and realised my destiny lay in the Maori world,” he said.

He is now professor of reo and tikanga at the University of Waikato and is one of three directors of the Institute of Excellence in Maori Language. He was appointed to the Waitangi Tribunal in 2008 and chairs the Repatriation Advisory Panel to Te Papa.

  • International expert on language revival, Professor Ghil’ad Zuckermann, will be giving a free lecture on the importance of revitalising languages at the University of Waikato today.
  • “Sleeping Beauties Awake”, from noon to 1pm.

Latest Tweets

  • DigitalMaoriRT @mashmatix: "@jade_mikaela @worldindignet : world's first #Indigenous #Wearable #Technology Assembly http://t.co/Z1lfO322hG" @JadeKake @… about 19 minutes ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @Keyweekat: Now Key finally tells the TRUTH ! Too late mate - you sold us out #Teamkey @papanahi @transparency_a1 @DigitalMaori http://t… about 21 minutes ago
  • DigitalMaori@fuck_lupus Pō mārie. about 14 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @MaramaDavidson: @caniwikiwi @TheDarkHorse_nz @DigitalMaori It's hard and sad and then truly inspirational. Beautiful performances espec… about 14 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @caniwikiwi: @MaramaDavidson @TheDarkHorse_nz @DigitalMaori We just came back from watching! Isn't it great? about 14 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriMaori News: Iwi eager to unite its people in celebration http://t.co/BGgzo29LCI #maori #indigenous about 2 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@dairycocky No it's not. Pakeha rich list, Pakeha only prime ministers. Who has all the power? Not us. Crying now cos u have to share. Lol. about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@dairycocky & if you're asking me personally, hell yea! If we can't eliminate poverty & racism, I'm totally for proMaori policies about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@dairycocky race based? Read some history then get back to me. about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @kaupapamaori: In every community there are leaders who are willing to take on the challenge. We need to find & resource those people. L… about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@dairycocky anyway I can hear of your your cows going mad out back. Must've heard about novapay. Better go check #mooove about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@dairycocky @Olivefarmer yea any party. The night before he gave Annette the biggest hug. He's promoting his film &supporting his cousin about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@Megapope dang. And we were all hoping lol about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @kaupapamaori: Angeline Greensill talking on the Treaty and protecting our environment. http://t.co/jDS9Wmd0aT about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @kaupapamaori: We need to urgently address food sovereignty, climate change and protecting our environment. Angeline Greensill about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @kaupapamaori: "What concerns me is that we win over 34 seats and we don't have enough on the list... Get on the roll and vote" Angeline… about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@dairycocky @Olivefarmer what you mean this guy? With Annette's Sykes. Oh that's right lol http://t.co/FlzMNIb2lt about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriMaori News: Pu Konohi Art Auction http://t.co/ryDg0tt4aB #maori #indigenous about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriMaori News: Amazing opportunity for Rangatahi wanting to work with Vodafone http://t.co/rfLsrQrq3Y #maori #indigenous about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @kiwinerd: @DigitalMaori i think that article overuses the trope of indigenous nations dying out. about 3 days ago