Katerina Mataira at the age of 79.
Katerina was a groundbreaker in the field of writing for children in Te Reo Maori, both as a writer and a translator. She was born in Tokomaru Bay in 1932 and trained as a teacher and art educator.
Katarina had nine children and leaves behind 50 grandchildren and great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.
In the few times I spoke to her I always found her wise and very progressive in her thinking, while retaining her feel for roots. She had a strong sense of the linking of past, present and future and of language and the arts being a living thing, constantly changing but always born of the past, of whakapapa, of those who have carved their paths before us.
A tangi will be held on Tuesday at Ohinewaiapu Marae in Rangitukia, 25km north east of Ruatoria. Farewell to a great lady.