Mātaatua elder and kapa haka exponent Te Makariini Temara passed away early this morning in Whakatāne.
Mr Temara was a prominent figure of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and a staunch supporter of Māori performing arts and the Māori language.
The Ngāi Tuhoe descendant was a driving force behind the Mātaatua Kapa haka group Ruatāhuna Kākahu Mauku who have previously performed at Te Matatini making the top six in 2007.
He was also a staunch supporter of tribal affairs within Tūhoe playing a key role in events like Te Hui Ahurei a Tūhoe and the Mātaatua Kapa Haka festival.
He is survived by his wife Rose, children and grandchildren.