Te Mātāwai is a new organisation established under Te Ture mō te Reo Māori 2016 (The Māori Language Act 2016) to lead revitalisation of te reo Māori on behalf of iwi and Māori.

Te Mātāwai has 13 members.

  • Seven appointed by iwi
  • Four appointed by reo tukutuku (Māori language stakeholder) organisations
  • Two appointed by the Minister for Māori Development.

Te Mātāwai members

Members of Te Mātāwai at its first hui in Ōtaki on 4 October 2016 with Minister for Māori Development Hon Te Ururua Flavell and Te Puni Kōkiri Chief Executive Michelle Hippolite. L-R: Dr Ruakere Hond, Willie Jackson, Hon Te Ururoa Flavell, Robin Hapi, Scotty Morrison, Dr Hiria Hape, Jeremy Tātere MacLeod, Dr Cathy Dewes, Pānia Papa, Nuki Tākao, Waihoroi Shortland, Bentham Ohia, Michelle Hippolite, Mereana Selby. Absent: Professor Rawinia Higgins.

Appointed by iwi clusters


Appointed by Reo Tukutuku clusters

Appointed by the Minister for Māori Development

Te Mātāwai Members' Biographies

Iwi Cluster Appointments

Te Tai Tokerau – Waihoroi Shortland (Ngāti Hine and Te Aupouri)

Waihoroi Shortland is a writer, director, producer and actor who has more than 30 years’ experience working in te reo Māori-related media. His early working life was as a Clerk and Interpreter for the Māori Land Court in Te Tai Tokerau and as a Māori Community Officer in Auckland, Pukekohe and Kaitaia. From there he worked as a senior journalist on both Te Karere and Mana Māori Media. His film credits include the lead in Tangata Whai Rawa o Weneti – the Māori Merchant of Venice, a role for which he was awarded Best Actor at the New Zealand Film Awards. He was part of the cast of a te reo Māori adaptation of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida at the Globe Theatre in London. Waihoroi was a Commissioner for Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori and is a current member of the Māori Television Services Board.

Tainui – Pānia Papa (Ngāti Korokī-Kahukura, Ngāti Mahuta)

Pānia Papa has a vast array of experience in education and media – all with an emphasis on te reo Māori and Māori development. She is a former Māori Studies lecturer at Waikato University and has consulted to a number of education agencies. Her broadcasting work includes producing, presenting, and translating for television including reversioning globally popular cartoons into Māori. She was a member of the independent panel that reviewed the Crown’s Māori Language Strategy in 2011, and was on the Māori Language Quality Assurance Group overseeing the translation of Te Ture mō Te Reo Māori. Pānia is currently a member of the Waikato-Tainui Reo Advisory Group, working to implement the Waikato-Tainui iwi language strategy. She was a member of the advisory group that reviewed the Raukawa iwi language strategy in 2015 and the Ngāti Kahungunu iwi language strategy in 2014. Pānia is a director of Takatū Associates Limited focusing on innovations in Māori language education and broadcasting; and Assistant Director of Te Panekiretanga o te Reo (Institute of Excellence in the Māori Language), an organisation she has been involved in since 2004, initially as one of the inaugural intake of students and currently a member of the teaching faculty.

Mātaatua - Bentham Ohia (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Te Roro o Te Rangi, Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Rārua and Ngai Tahu)

Bentham Ohia has been involved with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWOA), for many years, seven of which were spent as CEO (2006-2013). While at TWOA he was involved in the development of a number of Māori culture, knowledge, language and identity programmes. Bentham is the president of the leadership organisation Advancement of Māori Opportunity, and continues to mentor and support many of the graduates from the programme who are now in leadership roles. He is also deputy chairman at the Waikato-Tainui College of Research and Development and a Trustee of Nga Potiki Trust in Pāpāmoa, Tauranga.

Te Arawa – Dr Cathy Dewes (Ngāti Rangitihi, Te Arawa, Ngāti Porou)

Dr Cathy Dewes is a long-time advocate of te reo Māori and has been actively involved in various Māori language revitalisation initiatives for more than 40 years. Cathy was the first woman to serve on Te Arawa Māori Trust Board and was involved with advocating a fair settlement for Ngāti Rangitihi in the CNI Forests Collective Settlement. She has also been a director of the Māori Television Service and is currently the chair of Te Reo Irirangi o Te Arawa. Cathy was one of the group who began Māori Language Day in 1975, which later became Māori Language Week. She was instrumental in the establishment of kura kaupapa Māori schools throughout Aotearoa, and is the principal of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ruamata in Rotorua, one of the first Maori language Aho Matua schools, as well as Tumuaki of Te Runanganui o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori, the national body for kura kaupapa Māori. She has been involved in establishing and lecturing on several pre-service training courses preparing teachers for work in Kura Kaupapa Māori.

Te Tai Rāwhiti - Jeremy Tātere MacLeod (Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Arawa, Ngāti Raukawa te au ki te Tonga, Rangitāne, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāi Tahu, Te Āti Awa, Waikato, Ngāti Maniapoto, Taranaki)

Jeremy Tātere MacLeod is recognised as one of the key champions for te reo Māori revitalisation for Ngāti Kahungunu and is supported by his kaumātua in the many roles within the region and nationally. Jeremy is a graduate of ‘Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo’ and Waikato University with a Master of Arts (Māori) First Class Honours and is currently enrolled in their PhD programme. He is also a member of Te Mata Punenga, an elite group being groomed as karakia specialists, ensuring these skills are being fostered in the next generation. Jeremy currently works for Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi incorporated, and is tasked with the implementation of the Ngāti Kahungunu Māori Language Revitalisation Strategy – Kahungunu, kia eke! Jeremy also offers cultural advice and te reo Māori expertise, currently leading a major research project aimed at the identification and preservation of unique tribal dialectal variations. He also provides specialist advice around language revitalisation and language planning based on his own experiences as a second language learner and his own aspirations to attain fluency.

Te Tai Hauāuru – Dr Ruakere Hond (Taranaki, Ngāti Ruanui, Te Ati Awa, Whānau-a-Apanui)

For more than 30 years Dr Ruakere Hond has been keenly involved with adult education in the community and in tertiary institutions, specifically in the areas of reo Māori immersion learning and community development. He is a professional development trainer with Te Ataarangi, a recipient of the Hohua Tutengaehe research fellowship and a programme facilitator with Kura Whakarauora - language planning training intensives. Previous positions include Project co-ordinator with Te Reo o Taranaki Trust and Head of Māori studies at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. Ruakere is currently Chairperson of Te Runanga o Te Ataarangi, a council member of Western Institute of Technology in Taranaki and is very active in development projects in Parihaka. He has held a number of governance positions such as Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori and has maintained involvement in many community-based reo initiatives at a regional and national level.

Te Waipounamu - Nuki Tākao (Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāi Tūhoe)

Nuki Tākao is a passionate practitioner of te reo Māori revitalisation, with an in-depth understanding of its unique diverse difficulties through her experiences in kura kaupapa Māori, whanau/hapū/iwi language development, research and publishing. She is a Director of Māreikura Ltd working with kura, publishers, government and iwi organisations to deliver a range of services including publishing, consulting, advocating, lecturing, and educational leadership. Current work includes Wānanga Reo, Māori Medium Publishing and Te Aho Tātairangi (Kura Kaupapa Māori Teacher Training).

Māori Language Stakeholder Groups – Te Reo Tukutuku Appointments

Education – Mereana Selby (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Huia, Ngāti Porou)

Mereana Selby has been active in the Māori language revival movement over the last 40 years, particularly within her own iwi of Ngāti Raukawa. She has a particular interest in language revitalisation and intergenerational language transmission. Mereana began her career as a secondary school teacher of te reo Māori and Physical Education. She then took up a position at Wellington College of Education in bilingual teacher training. After 4 years there she joined Te Wānanga o Raukawa as Kaihautū (Director): Whakaakoranga, the faculty responsible for the delivery of Māori medium teacher training programmes. She also completed a Masters in Mātauranga Māori during this time. In 2007 Mereana was appointed to the role of Tumuaki at Te Wānanga o Raukawa. She is the first woman to be appointed as CEO of a Wānanga and is now in the 10th year of her tenure. She is the Chair of Te Tauihu o Ngā Wānanga - the association of the three wānanga.

Media – Scotty Morrison (Ngāti Whakaue)

Scotty Morrison is the presenter of Māori current affairs programmes Te Karere and Marae. He holds a Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor of Education and Masters (Education) from Waikato University and was previously Adjunct Professor of Māori Language and Tikanga at Unitec, Auckland. He also served as Head of Department at Unitec’s School of Maori. He is currently completing his PhD on Language Revitalisation. He has held Māori language advisory roles for a number of organisations, and designed and implemented the Ngāti Whakaue language revitalisation strategy. He is the writer of The Raupo Phrasebook of Modern Maori and Māori Made Easy – For everyday learners of the Māori Language – which is a book supported with text and video content within the MāoriLanguage.net website.

Community – Dr Hiria Hape (Tūhoe, Whakatōhea)

Dr Hiria Hape is currently a Senior Advisor/Pouwhakahaere for Māori Relationships and is a member of the Senior Leadership Team at Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry of Maori Development. In her role, she supports the Prime Minister and Governor General on tikanga Māori matters and also supports Minister of Treaty Settlements and Minister for Māori Development / Minister for Whānau Ora. Prior to undertaking her current role at Te Puni Kōkiri, Hiria was the Senior Manager of the Māori Cultural Perspective Unit for the Ministry. From 1999 she was an executive manager of Tūhoe Education Authority and cultural advisor for the New Zealand Army. She was Head of School Māori Studies at Wellington Polytechnic from 1991 to 1998 and a Senior Lecturer. She completed her Masters of Education at Victoria University of Wellington in 1998 and her thesis 'Māori Learning Styles' was the first written for the Faculty of Education entirely in te reo Māori. She completed her Doctoral thesis at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in 2015 and this was also the first PHD written in te reo Māori for Awanuiārangi.

Urban – Hēmi Dale (Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri)

Hēmi Dale is currently the Director of Māori Medium Education at Te Puna Wānanga, the School of Māori Education at the University of Auckland.  Mr Dale holds a Māori language Translators and Interpreters Certificate from the Māori Language Commission as well as having graduated from the Institute of Excellence in the Māori Language at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa: Te Panekiretanga o te Reo Māori.  For more than 25 years Mr Dale has undertaken research informing and supporting the development of Māori medium education in Aotearoa NZ. More recently Mr Dale has been at the forefront of the development of the national Māori medium NCEA levels 1, 2 and 3 achievement standards for tikanga ā iwi (social sciences), matawhenua (geography), ōhanga (economics) and hītori (history).

Ministerial Appointments

Professor Rawinia Higgins (Tūhoe)

Professor Rawinia Higgins is Deputy Vice Chancellor (Māori) at Victoria University. She has worked at the university since 2009 and prior to her appointment as Deputy Vice Chancellor in June 2016 she was the Head of Te Kawa a Māui and Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori Research. Rawinia a widely acknowledged expert on the revitalisation of te reo Māori and has held many roles on boards, advisory groups and working parties. She chaired the Māori Language Advisory Group for the Minister for Māori Development, which influenced and shaped Te Ture mō Te Reo Māori 2016 and the establishment of Te Mātāwai. She was a member of the working party for Iwi Chairs’ Collective Māori Language Strategy 2014. She is currently a board member of Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga Centre of Research Excellence, a member of the Waitangi Tribunal. Prior to her appointment to Te Mātāwai she was a board member of Te Māngai Pāho and a Commissioner for Te Taura Whiri I te Reo Māori.

Robin Hapi

Robin Hapi has extensive governance and senior management experience across a range of government, private and community organisation. He was previously CEO of Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd for three years and CEO of the former Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission for 13 years. His current positions include Te Amokapua (Chair) of the Council of Te Wānanga-o-Raukawa, a board member of Callaghan Innovation, Te Pou Matakana the North Island Commissioning Agency for Whanau Ora, and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. In 2016, he became a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori, community and governance. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Management.

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