Reo master takes the helm at Te Mātāwai
13 May 2020
Co-chairs of Te Mātāwai, Mereana Selby and Waihoroi Shortland today announced the appointment of a new helmsman to steer Te Mātāwai on the next phase of the organisation’s investment journey in the revitalisation of te Reo Māori.
The new Tumu Whakarae (Chief Executive), Professor Poia Rewi (Ngāti Manawa, Tūhoe, Te Arawa, Ngāti Whare, Tūwharetoa) is renowned for his work in te reo Māori revitalisation, whaikōrero and research. His main areas of research and teaching, and community engagement involve Māori language, culture, education and performing arts exemplify the innate knowledge he brings to this role.
“Ko tā te mahi nei he whai kia ūkaipō anō te reo Māori i ōna kāinga, mā reira hoki e ūkaiawatea ai ki te motu whānui. Me kore ake taku hoa rangatira hei tuarā anō i a au i tēnei mahi a tātou”, says Professor Rewi.
Poia is the Principal Investigator on the three-year Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Pae Tawhiti initiative on the te Reo me ngā tikanga Māori platform which investigates normalising the Māori language and culture and collectivising research in these areas.
“Poia was a standout choice for the Tumu Whakarae appointment amongst an impressive field of applicants. He demonstrated humility and an awareness of Māori cultural mores and practices when viewed through a te Ao Māori lens, which is vital in the leadership of this organisation”, says Te Mātāwai Co-Chair, Waihoroi Shortland.
“It goes without saying that he has a high level of competency in te reo and tikanga Māori all vital to engaging with Māori language communities wherever we might find them,” he said.
Fellow Co-Chair, Mereana Selby says, “Poia shares our vision to restore te reo Māori as a nurturing first language within homes and communities and brings a uniquely Māori purview to our operational strategy. We look forward to Poia joining the Te Mātāwai whānau and supporting the Board in the revitalisation of reo within reo Māori communities”.
Professor Rewi is currently the Dean of Te Tumu – School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies at the University of Otago and the Deputy Director at Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga. In 2014, he was seconded to the Acting Chief Executive for Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori. He brings both governance and management experience to this new role.
A harbinger of things to come, Poia Rewi joins the Te Whare o te Reo Mauriora whānau as Tumu Whakarae at the beginning of the Māori new year from 1 July.