World Linguapax Award for Māori Language Champion
Writer, academic and Māori language pioneer, Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira (Ngati Porou) has won the prestigious Linguapax Award 2009 for her lifelong work to revive the Māori language. In the seventies Ms Mataira co-developed, alongside the late Ngoingoi Pewhairangi, the Te Atārangi community based programme of Māori language learning which trained native speakers of Māori to teach their language. This philosophy underpinned the establishment of the kura kaupapa Maori movement. Linguapax is an annual award bestowed upon leading linguists and researchers by the Linguapax Institute based in Barcelona, Spain. Linguapax is a non-governmental organisation set up by UNESCO and dedicated to the global preservation and promotion of linguistic diversity. This is the first time a New Zealander has been honoured with this award.