Cathy Moana Dewes

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Cathy Moana Dewes, ONZM

Ngāti Rangitihi, Te Arawa, Ngāti Porou

Dr Cathy Dewes has been at the forefront of the revitalisation of te reo Māori all her adult life. She is principal of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ruamata, in Rotorua and has been a leader in Māori education for more than 40 years. She says part of her motivation was being told she could not study Māori at her Wellington high school, “It was then I realised that society needed to change in order that Māori might live". 

Dewes was a member of the Te Reo Māori Society, that began Māori Language Day in 1975, which became Māori Language Week and she was instrumental in setting up Kura Kaupapa Māori throughout Aotearoa. 

In 1995, Dewes overcame sexism to be the first woman appointed to Te Arawa Māori Trust Board.

In this radio interview from the 1990s, she speaks about the need for the education system to provide bilingual schooling for Māori-speaking children who were graduating from kōhanga reo.

Watch a news item about Dr Dewes' work with Te Reo Māori Society

Listen to a radio interview with Dr Dewes after her election to Te Arawa Trust Board in 1995. 

Image: Dr Cathy Dewes. 

Catalogue Reference 43923

Year 1995


Interviewer: Piripi Walker

Excerpt: 0:02:44

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