Dedicated teacher mourned - George (Hori) Pomana

He dedicated his life to the community of James Cook High School in Auckland. 62-year-old George (aka Hori) Pomana (Ngāti Kahungungu, Ngāi Te Rangi) passed away from a terminal illness last night, surrounded by his whānau at Totara Hospice in Manurewa South Auckland.

The Māori educator was born in Nuhaka, Wairoa, and raised by his grandparents on Matakana Island in Tauranga.

Tomorrow morning he will be taken to Te Pou Herenga Waka marae at James Cook High.  

Mr Pomana attended South Auckland’s St Stephens College and trained as a teacher at Palmerston North Teachers College.

In 1986 Hori was employed as the Maori teacher at James Cook High School. Before that he taught at various schools in South Auckland, and an an itinerant Teacher of Te Reo Māori in the South Auckland region.

He tutored the school kapa haka rōpū which was named Te Kapunga in 1989. They regularly placed at Auckland’s ASB Polyfest Secondary School competition and Te Ahurea Tino Rangatiratanga.

He was part of establishing the wharenui at James Cook High School, named Te Pou Herenga Waka, which was opened on 23rd October 1994.

2004 he formed and headed Puutake Te Wahanga Māori, the Māori Unit at James Cook.

Mr Pomana leaves behind a lasting legacy not only in for Māori, but also in the sport of waka ama.  He founded the Te Pou Herenga Waka Ama Club in 2005, based at Weymouth.  Paddlers are past and current students, whānau and wider community.  The clubs has competed and won titles at national and world competitions. 

On Wednesday morning he will return to Opureroa marae on Matakana Island.  Details of his burial day are not yet known.