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Te Maire Tau

Pou Whakarae Dir/Professor

Ngai Tahu Research Centre

17 October 2023

About Professor Te Maire Tau

Professor Te Maire Tau (Ngāi Tahu) is Ūpoko of Ngāi Tūāhuriri, a hapu of Ngāi Tahu and a historian on oral traditions, tribal genealogies, and iIndigenous knowledge systems.

Professor Tau was appointed Pou Whakarae at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC)’s Office of Treaty Partnership in 2022, and works closely with Tumu Whakarae | Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey to ensure inclusion of te ao Māori, mātauranga Māori and uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi at the University.  

Professor Tau became the first Director of UC’s Ngāi Tahu Research Centre in 2011. The centre was founded to facilitate Ngāi Tahu’s intellectual capital, leadership, and iwi development. Across the diverse worlds of academia, governance and the “flax roots” of his Tuahiwi village community, his strength lies in collaborating and building relationships across generations and cultures.

Professor Tau’s historical knowledge proved invaluable during the settlement of Ngāi Tahu’s Treaty of Waitangi claims, providing evidence in the Waitangi Tribunal, and Treaty settlement negotiations.  Subsequently, Professor Tau’s scholarly pursuits extended to writing various publications on oral traditions and the relationship between Indigenous knowledge systems and how they intersect with western science and economics. With his leadership, profound expertise and commitment to cultural and economic enrichment, Professor Tau greatly influences discussions on Indigenous heritage and its connection to modern viewpoints.



  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Philosophy


Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (2013)
Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award (2017)
Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi Fellow (2023)

Research interests

Professor Tau’s research interests include the philosophy of knowledge, oral traditions, myth, indigenous development, and history.


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