Late Professor John Moorfield honoured at Waikato University Marae
The late Professor John Moorfield, lovingly referred to as Te Murumāra by many, spent time at Waikato University’s Te Kohinga Mārama Marae on Friday before receiving a celebration service at St Margaret’s Anglican Church in Te Kauwhata.
Te Murumāra worked for 23 years at Waikato University where he made significant contributions to revitalizing te reo Māori through the development of the Te Whanakae series. Waikato University’s Te Kahautu Maxwell says the series is Te Murumāra’s legacy.
“Te ingoa o ana pukapuka, Te Whanake, me kī pēnā koinā tana ohāki kia whanake te whakarauoratanga o tō tātou reo.”
Māori academics at the university had made tono (request) that he brought to Te Kohinga Mārama Marae to rest before his burial. Academic Tom Roa recounted that the whānau said he lived to serve Māoridom in which he responded that Māoridom in turn holds him in high regard. .
“Ko te kōrero a te whānau he mōkai nā te ao Māori.
“Kī atu au ki a rātou kua rangatira te ao Māori i roto i a ia.”
Professor Pou Temara was also quite glowing when speaking about Te Murumāra, describing him as an exemplary Pākehā ally who knew when to speak, and what to say which is what endeared Māori to the late professor..
“Te momo pākehā pēnei i a Ray Harlow nei koinei tēnei momo, he momo Pākehā pai.
“He mōhio rātou mō āhea whakaputa ai i ō rātou mōhio, kāore e noho ki reira whakaiti iai i te ao Māori mā roto mai i ā rātou mahi.
“Koinei te momo Pākehā ka ngākaurekatia e te ao Māori.”
Te Murumāra leaves behind a widow, three children and grandchildren. He has received a private burial.