Dr Ēnoka Murphy
Prime Minister’s Educator of the Year Award 2023
“Ko te reo te moko o te hinengaro, o te wairua, o te tinana o te tangata e mōhiotia atu ai ia he Māori. Ko te reo te mātāmua, ko te kaiwhakaako ia tāna pononga” ( Karetu, He whakaaro noa, n.d).
Dr Ēnoka Murphy is Senior Lecturer Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato | University of Waikato.
Ēnoka Murphy is a te reo Māori champion of the highest calibre and this is evident in the leadership and knowledge exhibited throughout his teaching. His influence radiates across academic, whānau, hapū and iwi contexts alike.
Ēnoka’s long-standing commitment to the reclamation of te reo Māori and the requirements of the treaty partnership span across his work at the university and broader communities. He maintains a high level of teaching and mentorship and holds steadfast to the mātauranga Māori values and aspirations that he embodies.
He recognises the unique attributes that students bring to the classroom that are not typically recognised in the tertiary sector and leverages off those to engage them into spaces that would otherwise seem foreign. To them he is an outstanding and unique teacher, valued for his “teaching techniques, patience, charisma, and … devotion to te reo Māori”. One student pays tribute to “… A very kind human being, who touches the lives of many, he is beyond a teacher. He is a rangatira for Te Ao Māori”.