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Dame Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira

Katerina_Mataira_1.JPGAuthor, artist and academic Kāterina Mataira (Ngati Porou) (1932–2011) was born in Tokomaru Bay near Gisborne on the East Coast of the North Island. Kāterina credits her gift of storytelling to her parents, Raniera and Erana Harrison, who raised a large family in Ruatoria. Māori was their native tongue. ‘My father was a brilliant storyteller,’ Kāterina recalls. ‘Many of his stories were about his own life. They were full of real people and real events. There were scary ones too. He loved to tell ghost stories, then send one of us kids outside to fetch wood for the fire.’
Kāterina was educated at St Joseph's Māori Girls College in Napier and trained as a teacher and art educator. She established the first Māori language class in a state school at Northland College in Kaikohe in 1956. In 1958 she was part of a movement of Northland art educators that presented the first exhibition of contemporary Māori art.
Kāterina was at the forefront of Māori language revival and teaching for many years. In 1985 she helped set up the first Māori language immersion school, Kura Kaupapa Māori, at Hoani Waititi Marae in Auckland, and co-authored Te Aho Matua – the philosophy and charter for kaupapa Māori schools. In 1987 she was appointed a foundation member of the Māori Language Commission. In 1996 she was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Waikato. She published a number of award-winning picture books in Māori for children. However, her groundbreaking work was her novels in Māori: Te Atea (1975), Makorea (2002) and Rehua (2006).
In 1998 Kāterina was awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of her contribution to New Zealand. She is survived by eight children, 29 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Kāterina's son, Pita, an artist, has illustrated some of her books, continuing Kāterina’s tradition, as she was first published as an illustrator.
In 2000, Creative New Zealand offered a grant to Ahuru Press to publish Kāterina three-volume historical novel written in te reo. In 2001 she was the recipient of the Te Tohu Tiketike a Te Waka Toi/Te Waka Toi Exemplary Award. Elizabeth Ellis, Chair of Te Waka Toi, Māori Arts Board of Creative New Zealand said, ‘Kāterina is an exceptional, creative person. As a Māori woman at the forefront of Māori language renaissance, she’s provided leadership, direction and security. As a writer and an artist, she’s had a profound effect on New Zealand society.’
Kāterina was created Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2011. Dame Kāterina died in July 2011.
Selected bibliography:
  • The End of the Harbour: An Historical Novel for Children text by Elsie Locke (Jonathan CapeBlackwood & Janet Paul 1968).
  • Maui and the Big Fish (Whitcombe and Tombs 1972).
  • Māori Legends for Young New Zealanders illustrated by Clare Bowes (Lansdowne 1975).
  • The Warrior Mountains illustrated by John Ford (Te Ataarangi Publications 1982).
  • The River Which Ran Away illustrated by John Bevan Ford (Ahuru Press 1983).
  • Cry-baby Moon with Terewai Kemp, illustrated by Hone Iho-o-te-rangi Ngata (Mallinson Rendel/Ahuru Press 1992). Te reo edition: Marama Tangiweto.
  • Modern Māori Picture Dictionary = He Papakupa Whakaahua mo te reo Maori o Naianei editor Kāterina Mataira (Oxford University Press 1997).
  • Rangi and His Dinosaurs illustrated by Ali Teo (Huia Publishers 1998). Te reo edition: Nga Mokonui a Rangi.
  • Kapa Haka illustrated by Sylvia Huége de Serville. (Ahuru Enterprises 1999).
  • Pukapuka Tuhi Kupu ma nga Tamariki = A Maori Children's Picture Dictionary illustrated by Jenny Rhodes (Oxford University Press 2003).
Te Reo Translations/retellings:
  • Paenaena o Papa KorouaJoy Watson i tuhi, nā Wendy Hodder ngā whakaahua (Ashton Scholastic 1993).
  • Aha ai Nana? nā Carol Geissler i tuhi, nā Linda McClelland ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2000).
  • Haereere a Clyde nā John Tarlton (Scholastic 2000).
  • Hi Ika ma te Mawhitiwhiti Pungawerewere nā Lino Nelisi i tuhi, nā Elspeth Alix Batt ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2000).
  • I Kai Parakipere AhauAlan Trussell-Cullen i tuhi, nā Kelvin Hawley ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2001).
  • Ta PokihaGavin Bishop (Scholastic 2001).
  • Rakiraki Kei te Puna nā Jan McPherson (Scholastic 2001).
  • Ko Maui Raua ko te Atua o te Ahi: he Purakau Māori Gavin Bishop (Scholastic 2001).
  • Haere ki to Kuia Kainga nā John Tarlton (Scholastic 2001).
  • Katarina Gavin Bishop (Scholastic 2001).
  • Pipi PaopaoGavin Bishop (Scholastic 2001).
  • Tarau Poto o Papa KorouaJoy Watson i tuhi, nā Wendy Hodder ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2002).
  • Pakoro a Papa KorouaJoy Watson i tuhi, nā Wendy Hodder ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2003).
  • I te TimatangaPeter Gossage (Scholastic 2004).
  • Kihi nā Vicki Adams i tuhi, nā Kelvin Hawley ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2004).
  • Nama Tino Rahi Rawa Atu i te WhaiaoJulie Leibrich i tuhi, nā Ross Kinnaird ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2004).
  • Teihi Tare Elizabeth Pulford i tuhi, nā Denise Durkin ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2004).
  • Tarakihana PakupakuJoy Cowley i tuhi, nā Gavin Bishop ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2004).
  • Wetā Joy Cowley i tuhi, nā Rod Morris ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2004).
  • HinepauGavin Bishop (Scholastic 2005).
  • I Roto i te Ngahere nā Yvonne Morrison i tuhi, nā Jenny Cooper ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2005).
  • Kia Heke te Po: Nga Kirehe Ngahere o Aotearoa nā Julia Crouth (Scholastic 2005).
  • Te WakaJean Prior i tuhi, nā Gavin Bishop ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2005).
  • Ko Wai Toku Ingoa? nā Gillian May i tuhi, nā Geoff Dale ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2005).
  • Poti a Papa KorouaJoy Watson i tuhi, nā Wendy Hodder ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2006).
  • Whakaeke i Nga Ngaru: E Wha Iino PurakauGavin Bishop (Random House 2006).
  • Aha Kei Runga?Glenn Jowitt (Scholastic 2006).
  • Horeta Me te Waka nā Gordon Campbell i tuhi, nā Zak Waipara ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2007).
  • Tiare nā Sarah Eady i tuhi, nā Robert Farrier ngā whakaaua (Scholastic 2007).
  • Pukunoke nā Pauline Cartwright i tuhi, nā Annabel Craighead ngā whakaaua (Scholastic 2007).
  • Hinemoa te ToaTim Tipene i tuhi, nā John Bennett ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2008).
  • Rapu RāpetiElizabeth Pulford i tuhi, nā Jenny Cooper ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2009).
  • Hūhū KorohekeKyle Mewburn i tuhi, nā Rachel Driscoll ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2009).
  • Purini Rango Joy Cowley i tuhi, nā Philip Webb ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2010).
  • Te Rā Tuatahi mō Jonah Feana Tu'akoi i tuhi, nā Samantha Asri ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2010).
  • Te Haere Hokohoko a Witiwitipū nā Diana Boles i tuhi, nā Aki Fukuoka ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2010).
  • Manu HaututuJune Peka i tuhi, nā Jo Thapa ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2010).
  • MahiaraSally Sutton i tuhi, nā Brian Lovelock ngā whakaahua (Walker Books 2010).
  • Kei Wareware Tātou Feana Tu'akoi i tuhi, nā Elspeth Alix Batt ngā whakaahua (Scholastic 2011). 
  • He Mihi Nui mō Taringa-Kore!Kyle Mewburn i tuhi, nā Deborah Hinde nga whakaahua (Scholastic 2011).
  • Ngā Kahumoe o te Ngeru nā Catherine Foreman (Scholastic 2011).
Awards:
  • White Ravens List 1994 for Cry-baby Moon.
  • University of Waikato Honorary Doctorate 1996.
  • Te Kura Pounamu Medal 1996 for Marama Tangiweto.
  • Te Kura Pounamu Medal 1997 for He Tino Kuia Taku Kuia.
  • University of Otago College of Education Writer in Residence 1997.
  • Dunedin College of Education Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence 1997.
  • Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit 1998.
  • White Ravens List 2000 Special Mention for Kapa Haka.
  • Te Tohu Tiketike a Te Waka Toi/Te Waka Toi Exemplary Award 2001.
  • Te Kura Pounamu Medal 2003 Shortlist for Te Tarau Poto o Pāpā Koroua.
  • Te Kura Pounamu Medal 2005 Shortlist for Tarakihanā pakupaku.
  • Te Kura Pounamu Medal 2005 Shortlist for I te Timatangā.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2006 Picture Books List for Te Waka.
  • Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award 2007.
  • Te Kura Pounamu Medal 2007 Shortlist for Whakaeke i ngā Ngaru.
  • Te Kura Pounamu Medal 2009 Shortlist for Hinemoa te Toa.
  • New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 2010 Picture Book Finalist for Hūhū Koroheke.
  • New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 2010 Book of the Year for Hūhū Koroheke.
  • Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit 2011.
  • LIANZA Te Kura Pounamu 2011 Te Tahu Taurapa for Manu Haututu.
  • IBBY Honour List 2012 for translation for Hūhū Koroheke.
Other resources:
 

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