Dr Hinurewa Poutu joined Whakaata Māori as Kaikōkiri Reo in January 2019.
Born and raised in Palmerston North, Dr Poutu was educated through Māori medium education starting with kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa Māori and wharekura.
A qualified translator and experienced teacher, Dr Poutu has previously served as a Māori Language Commissioner with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission). A former television presenter, she has also been a panel member of Te Ranga Kaupapa Ture and The Constitutional Advisory Panel. She is a director of The Vodafone New Zealand Foundation Charitable Trust.
Dr Poutu is a graduate of Te Panekiretanga o te Reo (Institute of Excellence in the Māori Language). She holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Education from Massey University, graduating in 2015. Her thesis titled Kia Tiori nga Pipi: Ma te aha e korero Maori ai nga taitamariki o nga wharekura o Te Aho Matua? researched the role of youth in wharekura, Māori medium secondary schools, as part of the Māori language revival.
Dr Poutu’s research is among the first that focuses on the new generation of Māori language speakers.