Learn from the best

Professor Pou Temara

Professor of Reo and Tikanga, Pou Temara is a recognised tohunga and authority in Māori language, ancient karakia, kapa haka and whaikōrero.  He specialises in interpreting and applying traditional tikanga to contemporary every day life. He has published numerous works, composed award winning kapa haka items, and his esoteric skills are constantly called upon. Prof Temara was instrumental in the creation of Kōrero Mai; the first Māori language series on TV and his Master’s thesis is still considered the benchmark for a thesis written in te reo.

"Where most researchers pride themselves on publications, Matua Pou's point of difference is that his research output is not only in the written word, but also in people." read more ...


Prof Temara (or "Matua Pou" as he is known to his students) is of Tuhoe descent. With an unmatchable list of accomplishments, service and expertise in te ao Māori, Professor Temara's students have access to his wealth of knowledge.  In this video, Matua Pou discusses the application of traditional weaponry on Waka Huia:

Quirky Fact

In his spare time, Prof Temara swaps textbooks for rifles and loves traipsing his homelands of Te Urewera hunting possum and deer.

Around campus, you will hear him quoting Shakespeare, wooing listeners with impromptu te reo poetry, and being the voice for Māori in a dapper suit and matching bow tie.


Recognised for his outstanding contribution to te ao Māori, here are a few of the accolades awarded to Prof Temara:

  • Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award – Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori/Māori Language Commission

  • Winner of Te Tohu Aroha mō Ngoi Kumeroa Pēwhairangi - Te Waka Toi Awards
  • Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and Education
  • Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy (Hon Causa) in Māori Development  - Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi

Appointments and Positions

Not only does Professor Temara have expert knowledge, he willingly shares it for the betterment of Māori.  These contributions include:

  • Director -Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo, the Institute of Excellence in the Māori Language
  • Member - Māori Advisory Committee
  • Appointed member - Waitangi Tribunal
  • Chairperson of the Repatriation Advisory Panel - Te Papa Museum
  • Expert commentator - Waka Huia
  • Former member - Tūhoe Waikaremoana Māori Trust Board
  • Past chairperson - Te Hui Ahurei a Tūhoe
  • Past director - Māori Unit, Radio New Zealand

Featured Publications

Known and recognised for his creative works, Professor Temara's research publications delve into his passion of fusing traditional tikanga with a contemporary society:

  • Temara, W. T. R. (2017). Mihi. Te Kōtihitihi: Ngā Tuhinga Reo Māori4, 2.
  • Hudson, M., Anderson, T., Dewes, T. K., Temara, W., Whaanga, H., & Roa, T. (2017). He matapihi ki te Mana Raraunga” - Conceptualising Big Data through a Māori lens. In H. Whaanga, T. T. Keegan, & M. Apperley (Eds.), He Whare Hangarau Māori - Language, culture & technology (pp. 64-73). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand: Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao / Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies. Open Access version:
  • Temara, P. (2017). Ahumai. Te Kōtihitihi - Ngā Tuhinga Reo Māori4, 6-10.
  • Temara, P. (2017). Ko au tēnei. Te Kōtihitihi: Ngā Tuhinga Reo Māori4, 113-117.

Find more research publications by Pou Temara

Take the opportunity to learn from the best.  Professor Temara teaches the following papers within the Faculty of Māori & Indigenous Studies:

MAORI202 - Ngā Iho Matua: Māori Philosophy

This paper examines the philosophical underpinnings of seminal tikanga Maori concepts, and their influence both historically and in contemporary Maori culture.

MAORI316 - Te Reo Ahurei

Ko ta tēnei pepa, he whakamatau i te ngao o te ākonga ki te waitī o te ahurea auaha o te pao, o te rotarota, o ngā kōrero waita o tāukiuki, a ka wetekina hoki ngā kōrero mōteatea a ngā tohunga whakairo kupu o te ao Māori me te ao whānui tonu.

This course is intended for students who have completed MAOR214 or have equivalent or higher Māori language proficiency. The emphasis will be on developing oral and critical skills in the use of the Māori language with particular attention on the critical examination and understanding of composition styles, including performance of poetic genres.

Contact details & media tools

Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao
Professor Pou Temara
+64 7 837 9523

For all media enquiries please contact:
Ngāwai Smith
+64 224275433

Photos available for download: