Emeritus Professor Ngahuia Te Awekotuku is a writer, and advocate for Māori, feminist and lesbian issues. She was born and raised in Ohinemutu, Rotorua, and aligns primarily with the Ngati Whakaue people. For years she worked in the heritage and creative sectors, as a curator, governor, teacher and activist/advocate. Her research interests include museums, gender issues, ritual and death. Ngahuia completed a MA (Hons) in English in 1974. In 1981, she became the first Māori woman to earn a doctorate from a New Zealand university, with a PhD on the impact of tourism on the Te Arawa people. As a curator at Waikato Museum in the 1980s, Awekotuku was among the first to insist that museums rethink how they represent Māori and indigenous culture, locally and overseas. She developed and taught the first tertiary sector Māori and Pacific Art History programme from undergraduate to doctoral level and in 1996 became this country’s first Māori woman professor. She discussed much of this in her 1991 essay collection, Mana Wahine: Selected Writings on Māori Women’s Art, Culture and Politics. She has also published numerous book chapters, poems, short fiction, articles and academic papers. Her multiple award-winning volume (2007) – Mau Moko : the world of Maori tattoo – emerged from twenty five years of experiential research in this significant art form. Retired from the academy, she continues to work in the heritage sector. Her prize-winning 2015-2016 exhibition, E Nga Uri Whakatupu : Weaving Legacies, and the accompanying illustrated book, focused on the iconic weavers, Dame Rangimarie Hetet and Diggeress Te Kanawa. She is a Fellow of the Auckland War Memorial Museum (FAWMM), and holds the Royal Society Pou Aronui Award for service to the arts and social sciences. Awekotuku is the first Maori woman emeritus professor, and one of three inaugural Ruanuku o Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, esteemed academic elders who support the National Centre for Maori Research Excellence.