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Ngā Toa reo Māori 2019 | Māori Language Champions 2017

Ngā Toa reo Māori 2019 | Māori Language Champions 2017

(The Māori and English descriptions are in some cases not exact translations)


Professor Pou Temara was taken as a newborn by his grandparents Tamahou and Pareraututu to Waikarewhenua, in the heart of Te Urewera. The humble earth-floor house was constructed of kaponga, the roof was kanuka bark. His friends were the many animals, his environment the forest and his language was te reo Māori. Here that Pou began his schooling in whaikōrero, waiata, whakapapa and tribal traditions. His grandparents were joined in his instruction by grand uncle and Tūhoe tohunga Hikawera Te Kurapa.

At age seven, Pou and his grandparents relocated – five hours by horse - to the metropolis of Ruatāhuna so Pou could attend Huiarau Native School. He had no English, and was drilled by his grandmother to parrot his first non-Māori sentence,

“My name is William Te Rangiua Temara, I am seven.”

Pou excelled, and went on to Wesley College in Auckland. After a short OE, he returned to Aotearoa to mourn the passing of his grandfather. Following successful careers in marketing and broadcasting, Pou went on to complete his training, once again under the supervision of his tohunga Hikawera.

In the early 1980s Pou began teaching at Victoria University. Initially head-hunted by Professor Hirini Moko Mead, Pou became tohunga, senior lecturer and head of school at Te Kawa a Māui over 24 years. A long-serving member of the Tūhoe Waikaremoana Trust Board, Pou and Te Wharehuia Milroy, headed Te Whare Kōrero o Tūhoe, teaching whaikōrero, karanga and traditional knowledge to Tūhoe descendants.

The triumuriate of Wharehuia, Sir Tīmoti, and Pou has for 14 years nurtured a new generation of Māori language exponents through Te Panekiretanga o te reo Māori, its influence permeating te Ao Māori. His impact is clearly recognisable in the whaikōrero delivered by his students. Pou is the paramount tohunga of Te Matapūnenga, a group of Māori language and cultural exponents who he has instructed in traditional incantations.

Pou is Professor of Te Reo, Tikanga and Philosophy at The University of Waikato, a member of the Waitangi Tribunal and chair of the Te Papa Repatriation Advisory Panel. Above all Pou is known for his expertise in whaikōrero, for his knowledge of reo and tikanga and for his standing as the leading tohunga of his generation.

His word is rarely contested. Despite his many accomplishments, his reputation and the precious knowledge he has bestowed upon his students, his heart will always be in Te Urewera. He will forever remain connected to the humble kaponga whare where he was raised, next to the Whakatāne river at Waikarewhenua. “Ko au ko Te Urewera, ko Te Urewera ko au”.


* * *


I ekea e Pou ngā tino taumata i te kura, kātahi ka haere ki te Kāreti o Wesley i Tāmakimakaurau. Ka rere ki tāwāhi ki te tirotiro whenua haere, engari kīhai i roa, ka hoki mai ki te tangi i te matenga o tōna koroua. Whai i muri mai, ka haere i te ao hokohoko, i te ao pāpāho, ā, puta ana anō te ihu o Pou i ērā umanga. Kātahi ka whakarērea e ia tērā ao, ka hoki ake kia oti ngā mahi whakapakari i a ia ki ngā mātauranga onamata, i raro anō i te tohunga rā, i a Hikawera.

Nō te wāhanga tuatahi o ngā tau waru tekau ka tīmata tana hōkai i te ara kura wānanga Pākehā, i Te Whare Wānanga o Te Ūpoko o te Ika a Māui i Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara. Nā te Ahorangi Hirini Moko Mead a ia i āta tiki atu, ā, noho ana ia hei tohunga, hei pūkenga matua, hei upoko anō mō Te Kawa a Māui. E 24 tau ia i Te Kawa a Māui e whakaako ana i te reo me ngā tikanga Māori ki te manomano ākonga o ngā iwi katoa o te motu. Ā, i taua wā rā, e whakapau ana anō hoki i ōna kaha ki ngā take tōrangapū a tōna iwi me ngā kaupapa whakaū mātauranga a Tūhoe. He noho tautini anō a Pou ki Te Poari Kaitiaki o Tūhoe Waikaremoana, ā, ko rāua ko Te Wharehuia Milroy ngā pou mataaho o Te Whare Kōrero o Tūhoe, i whakaako ai rāua i te whaikōrero, i te karanga me ngā mātauranga tuaukiuki ki ngā uri o Tūhoe.

Ko Pou tētahi o te tokotoru tiketike nāna Te Panekiretanga o te Reo Māori i whakatū – ko Te Wharehuia Milroy rāua ko Tīmoti Kāretu ōna hoa. Kua 14 tau rātou e whāngai ana, e taute ana i tētahi reanga hou he matatau ki te reo Māori. Kua rere te kakara o tēnei apārangi ki ngā tōpito katoa o te ao Māori. Ka mutu, kei te rangona, kei te kitea te awe o Pou i te āhua o te tū a ana tauira ki te whaikōrero. Ko Pou te tino tohunga o Te Matapunenga, he kāhui pū kōrero, pū tikanga kua tohutohungia e Pou ki te takutaku karakia.

Ko Pou anō te Ahorangi o te Reo, te Tikanga, me te Whakaaro Māori i Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato. He mema ia nō te Taraipiunara o Waitangi, koia anō hoki te tumuaki o Te Kāhui Tohutohu o Karanga Aotearoa. Hāunga anō ēnei kōrero mō āna mahi nui, arā pea ngā āhuatanga i tino araara ai tōna ingoa, ko tana tino tau ki te whaikōrero, ko tōna matatau ki te reo, ki ngā tikanga, me tana tū ki mua haere ai i ērā atu o tana whakatupuranga i roto i ngā mahi a te tohunga.

Hau ana ngā rongo o tēnei tohunga whakarae, te pou here tikanga, te whītiki o te kī, te puna o te whakaaro taketake, te kaiako o te kaiaka. Me tino uaua ka uia, ka tohea te kupu a Pou; kua pāoorooro kē hoki ōna rongo ki ngā wāhi katoa e haere ai ia. Engari ahakoa ēnei taumata katoa kua ekea e ia, ēnei kura katoa kua tukuna e ia ki āna tauira, ko Te Urewera tonu te manawa o Pou. E kore ia e tauwehe i te whare kaponga i tupu ake ai ia i Waikarewhenua, i te taha o tōna awa, o Ōhinemataroa.

Ko au ko Te Urewera, ko Te Urewera ko au


ENDS


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