|Dame Kāterina Mataira
13 November 1932|
Tokomaru Bay, New Zealand
|Died||16 July 2011
Hamilton, New Zealand
|Known for||Māori language proponent, educator, intellectual, artist, writer|
Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira DNZM (13 November 1932 – 16 July 2011) was a New Zealand Māori language proponent, educator, intellectual, artist and writer. Her efforts to revive and revitalise the Māori language (te reo Māori), led to the growth of the Māori immersion schools (Kura Kaupapa Māori) in New Zealand.
She was born in 1932 in Tokomaru Bay, on the east coast of the North Island. She was a member of the Ngāti Porou Māori iwi. Mataira had nine children with her husband, Junior Te Ratu Karepa Mataira. She initially studied to be an art teacher and educator.
Mataira and a friend, fellow teacher Ngoi Pēwhairangi, co-founded the Te Ataarangi program as a way to teach and revitalize the Māori language. Mataira was intrigued by the Silent Way, a language teaching method created by Caleb Gattegno, and adapted to method to teach Māori. Her efforts earned her the nickname as the "mother" of the Kura Kaupapa Māori, or Maori immersion schools, according to Dr. Pita Sharples. She also authored Māori language children's picture books and novels.
Mataira died on 16 July 2011, in Hamilton, at the age of 78. She was survived by her nine children, 50 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Her tangi, or Māori funeral, was at the Ohinewaiapu Marae in Rangitukia.
- McCammon, Belinda (16 July 2011). "Leading Maori language figure Dame Katerina dies". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- "Interview with Katerina Mataira - Kids". Christchurch City Libraries. 1932-11-13. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
- "Dame Katerina Mataira dies". New Zealand Press Association. The New Zealand Herald. 16 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- "Queen's Birthday Honours 2011" (8 July 2011) 97 New Zealand Gazette 2829.