Reverend Wayne Te Kaawa, Kaumatua

5 December 2023

Ko Putauaki te maunga

Ko Takanga i o Apa te wai

Ko Tūwharetoa te iwi

Ko Ngāti Umutahi te hapū

Ko Hahuru te marae

Ko Revd Dr Wayne Te Kaawa tōku ingoa

Originally from the townships of Kawerau, Onepu and Te Teko with a background in health. In 1995 I entered the ministry of the Presbyterian Church and was ordained as a minister in 2002 after graduating from the Presbyterian School of Ministry. I have over twenty years of ministry experience in various parishes in Kawerau, Rotorua, Opotiki and Dunedin along with experience as a teritary chaplain and Police chaplain. Experience in ministry lead to many leadership positions in the Church as an administrator and Moderator. Education has always been important to me and I gained a Bachelor of Theology in  2001, a Masters of Ministry in 2016 (with credit) and a Doctorate of Philosophy in 2020. 

I am currently a fulltime lecturer in Theology at the University of Otago, the first Māori to lecture in theology in a university. What is unique about the papers I teach on Māori theology is that two of the papers are marae-based intensive using the wānanga methodology of education and learning. To date I have 23 publications with many more on the way.   

My life experience has seen me gain valuable governance and management experience within Church and community at a national and international level. Currently I serve as the Board Chairperson of a Dunedin based Māori Social Service provider.

Within my iwi I am an acknowledged kaumatua and orator on a number of marae. I am also involved with the Kingiitanga movement as a foundation member of the Kahui Wairua, an advisory group to the Māori King. In Dunedin, I also fulfill the role of kaumatua for many different iwi who have made their home in the south. 

Away from work and community service I enjoy crossfit activities, cats, cooking, gardening and reading.