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Creative New Zealand mourns the loss of Dame Katerina Mataira

19 Jul 2011

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NEWS

Dame Katerina, born in 1932, trained as a teacher and art educator and earned universal respect for the passion she generated in the revival of Māori language, through her influence as a brilliant author, academic, artist and a visionary leader.

Kua hāngū te korokoro tui rauora i te reo Māori, te kākā tarahae i tātangihia te reka o te reo kia pihi kia hua kia puawai ki tena ngakau tangata ki tena whānau ki tena moka huri te motu. E te pukenga e te manukura e Kahurangi Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira takoto mai koe i te putake o Hikurangi ki te taha o to awa i a Waiapu e moe okioki mai ra taukuri e.

Creative New Zealand mourns the passing of Dame Katerina (Ngati Porou). She was an artist and writer with an extensive arts background, and was at the forefront of the revival of te reo Māori for over four decades.

Dame Katerina, born in 1932, trained as a teacher and art educator and earned universal respect for the passion she generated in the revival of Māori language, through her influence as a brilliant author, academic, artist and a visionary leader.

Last month, she was bestowed with the Dame title when she was awarded the highest honour in the 2011 Queens Birthday Awards as a tribute to her services to Māori language.

In 1987, Dame Katerina was appointed a foundation member of the Māori Language Commission. She was also bestowed with the Pou Aronui Award for distinguished service to the humanities-aronui by the New Zealand Academy of the Humanities.

In 2000, Creative New Zealand supported Ahuru Press to publish her three-volume historical novel Makorea.Written in te reo, the novel is set in the early 1800s when Te Rauparaha invaded the South Island.  Dame Katerina wrote several ground-breaking novels in Māori – Te Atea (1975), Makorea (2002) and Rehua (2006) and also published a number of award winning picture books in Māori for children – Maui and the Big Fish, Marama Taniweto and Nga Mokonui a Rangi.

In 2001, she was the recipient of the Te Tohu Tiketike a Te Waka Toi/Te Waka Toi Exemplary Award, in recognition of her outstanding leadership and life-long commitment to Māori arts and culture.

Stephen Wainwright, Creative New Zealand Chief Executive, says “Dame Katerina was a leader in the renaissance of te reo Māori, through both her writing and the direction she provided as a founding member of Te Ataarangi. She has had a profound effect on New Zealand society as a writer and an artist and her legacy will live on for generations to come.”

 

For further information contact:

Helen Isbister
Creative New Zealand
(04) 473 0187

News and blog : Creative New Zealand mourns the loss of Dame Katerina Mataira