Eru Potaka-Dewes

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Eru Potaka-Dewes (1939 in Ruatoria – 7 August 2009 in Rotorua) was a New Zealand actor, Māori religious leader and activist.

Life and career[edit]

Eru Potaka-Dewes attended Waiomatatini Native Primary School, Gisborne Boys' High School, and Otago University, where he studied history and teaching.[1] Afterwards he became an Anglican priest.[1]

After living a few years in Australia, he returned to New Zealand in the 1980s and engaged in political and legal debates concerning Maori questions, particularly those related to the Treaty of Waitangi.[1][2][3]

During 1991 Potaka-Dewes established the Aotearoa-NZ Action Committee's Alternative Immigration Office (ANZAC) as an immigration centre for indigenous peoples.[4]

During the 1990s and early 2000s (decade) he also was working as an actor, appearing in Jane Campion's film The Piano and Rapa-Nui, produced by Kevin Costner.[2]

He was also the dean of theology at the Maori Anglican Theological College in Rotorua and taught in several Auckland and Rotorua schools.[2]

Potaka-Dewes died on 7 August 2009 in Rotorua, aged 70.[2] He was survived by his wife, Kiri, and his children.[4]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ngati Porou priest, actor Eru Potaka-Dewes dies at, access date 23 October 2012
  2. ^ a b c d Maori leaders mourn activist at, access date 23 October 2012
  3. ^ "Poroporoaki: Eru Potaka-Dewes". 7 August 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Ngati Porou theologian mourned at, access date 23 October 2012