Te Maire Tau

Te Maire Tau is the director of the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre at the University of Canterbury. He took up this position in 2011, having previously been a Senior Lecturer in History at the University. Te Maire belongs to Ngāi Tahu, the principal tribe of the South Island, and lives in Tuahiwi, the largest village of that tribe. Te Maire is the Ūpoko (Director) of Ngāi Tūāhuriri (the tribal group of the Tuahiwi region in Canterbury). During his years as an undergraduate and later as a postgraduate student at Canterbury, Te Maire helped iwi leaders with their land claim to the Waitangi Tribunal, with a particular emphasis on traditional food-gathering practices. As a specialist historian on oral traditions, tribal genealogies and indigenous knowledge systems, Te Maire was used as an expert witness and historian for the settlement of the Ngāi Tahu Claim – the largest settlement in its day between Māori and the Crown for lands wrongfully taken. Since then he has had a number of publications dealing with oral traditions and the relationship between indigenous knowledge systems and how they intersect with western science. Te Maire’s research interests include the philosophy of knowledge, oral traditions, myth, indigenous development and history.

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