Sadly on 15 January 2011, Dr Roka Pahewa Paora QSM, Te Whānau a Apanui passed away aged 84 years. Dr Paora was considered a stalwart of Te Whānau a Apanui tikanga, staunch advocate of te reo Māori and education.
Dr Paora passion for her people and her mother tongue Māori, led her to live a long life of service.
Dr Poara helped Hoani Waititi and others launch the modern renaissance of Māori language in education.She was one of the original judges for Te Matatini, and actively involved in the resurgence of contemporary Māori performing arts.
Dr Paora produced several classroom resources; she was a contributor to curricula, an adviser, assessor and examiner in Māori language and tikanga, and editor of two Māori language dictionaries, among many other achievements.
In 2010, Mrs Paora was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Waikato University, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Māori education.