NPM mourns Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira
Auē ana te ao Māori i te kopinga whakamutunga o te waha o te kahurangi nei a Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira i tōna hinganga i ngā rangi nei. Nāreira, whakatā mai rā e te kaitaunaki o te reo Māori, nāhau nei rā hoki i whakapau tō kaha i ngā tau maha nei, kia noho pūmau tonu ai tō tātau reo motuhake nei ki tēnei whenua. Whakapiri atu rā ki a Ngoingoi, ki a Te Kapunga mā. Waiho mai mā ngā uri whakaheke te kaupapa nei e kawe ake ki roto i ngā tau e haere ake nei. Tihei mauri mate! Tihei mauri ora!
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) joins with the rest of Aotearoa in mourning the passing of Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira.
Dame Mataira was an influential figure in the revival of te reo Māori. Along with the late Ngoi Pēwhairangi, she adapted the Silent Way methods of educator Caleb Gattengo to launch te reo revitalisation movement, Te Ataarangi.
Dame Kāterina established the first kura kaupapa Māori at Hoani Waititi Marae in Auckland with Dr Pita Sharples and wrote Te Aho Matua, the guide for all subsequent kura. She wrote several novels and published award-winning picture books in te reo Māori for children.
She was created Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to te reo Māori in this year’s Queen's Birthday honours. Dame Kāterina was born in Tokomaru Bay in 1932 and had nine children with her husband Junior Te Ratu Karepa Mataira and 50 grandchildren.
Watch one of the last recordings of her, filmed at the December 2010 launch of NPM’s Te Pae Tawhiti Research Initiative – Te Reo Māori.