Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi is in mourning following the passing of respected kaumatua and academic cultural advisor, Te Makarini John Temara.

Chief Executive Professor Wiremu Doherty said the institution joined with many across the motu in struggling to come to terms with the devastating news of the passing of Te Makarini – a highly-respected member of the Awanuiārangi whānau.

“Te Makarini was a cultural icon for our institution, his humility and passion for Te Ao Māori and in supporting and nurturing others leaves an immense loss for us all.

“His skills and wisdom will be missed in and out of the classroom and marae.”

Mr Doherty said his thoughts and the thoughts of the institution were with the whānau of Te Makarini at this very sad time.

“We will be taking a large delegation to Mataatua Marae to offer our support and to show our deep and enduring respect, as well as to farewell a dear and much loved friend.

John Te Makarini Temara, was born on December 6, 1958, and has been a key part of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanauiārangi for almost 20 years.

A trained social worker, he first lectured in Māori Studies, then went on the lecture in the Bachelor of Mātauranga Māori.

He was promoted to acting Academic Programme Leader, Mātauranga Maori in 2006, and has continued as a lecturer as well as a strong advocate and advisor on cultural matters.

He had begun his PhD thesis in Māori Studies last year.

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