This is a tribute to this late Māori elder statesman or kaumatua Te Kapunga Matemoana ‘Koro’ Dewes (1930 – 17August, 2010) who left a significant legacy with his stalwart defence of the rights of Māori and, as an intrinsic part of this, a firm commitment and call for the recognition of Māori language and traditional Māori literature, particularly its oral formats. Koro was an important figure across all contexts of Aotearoa New Zealand life, and the tribute examines in further detail as to why.

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