Te Kapunga Dewes was the son of Henry Dewes of Te Araroa. He was educated at Horoera Native Primary School, Wesley College and Ardmore Teachers’ College. He taught for a number of years at Ruatoki School, Tikitiki District High School and then at St Stephen’s School, Bombay, while working on his B.A. In 1962 he lectured in Māori at the University Extension Department of Auckland University. In 1966 he was appointed a lecturer in Māori at Victoria University and was appointed senior lecturer in Māori Language at Victoria University. Dewes wrote a Masters thesis on Henare Waitoa (Ngati Porou composer) and this was the first thesis presented in te reo Māori without English translation. In 1976 he went back to the East Coast and was part of the establishment of Te Runanga o Ngati Porou. He was a principal of Ngata Memorial College in Ruatoria and often spoke on Radio Ngati Porou. In 2004 he received an honorary doctorate in literature from Victoria University.
- Te Ao Hou 30(1960): 28.
- Te Ao Hou 54 (1966): 28.
- Ihaka, James. "Māori Language Pioneer Dies At 80." http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10667175 19 Aug. 2010.
- "Ko Nga Tikanga O Te Hi Kahawai./Kahawai Fishing in the Waiapu River." Written and trans. by Koro Dewes. Te Ao Hou 23 (1958): 16-17.
- In this account of kahawai fishing at the mouth of the Waiapu River, Dewes outlines the tapu restrictions governing the construction of fishing nets and describes the three different nets used between December and February to catch kahawai at their different stages of growth. This article is written in Māori and English.
- "Te Reo Māori" Te Ao Hou 24 (1958): 17.
- "Ka Pu Te Ruha Ka Hao Te Rangatahi." Te Ao Hou 30 (1960): 28.
- "Māori Education Foundation: Defence." Northland 20 (1962): 19-20.
- In this two-part debate concerning the Māori Education Foundation, M. N. Paewai writes a criticism of the Foundation and Koro Dewes writes a defence. Dewes argues that because of the "special problems of adjustment and integration" facing Māori, these issues need to be deal with on a racial basis. He disputes Paewai’s contention that Foundation funding will be merely a "handout" and argues that special groups in society need special assistance from the State. Dewes discusses the role of the Foundation in enhancing better education for Māori, but acknowledges that the role of Māori parents in supporting their children’s education can never be replaced.
- "Waiakiki-Murupara Leadership Conference." Te Ao Hou 47 (1964): 49-50.
- Dewes reports on the Waiakiki-Murupara Leadership Conference facilitated by Auckland University’s Department of University Extension in March 1964 at Rangitahi College and Marae. He lists the various recommendations made at the conference.
- "Teaching Māori to Adults." Te Ao Hou 48 (1964): 46-48.
- A discussion on teaching Māori language to adults. The article also discusses associated issues of regional variations in vocabulary and pronunciation.
- "Softly, Softly Sweet Sociologist!" Te Kaunihera Māori: New Zealand Māori Council Journal Winter Issue (1968): 85, 87. No further details.
- Co-authors K. M. Dewes, B. Kernot, M. Jackson, A. J. Metge, W. Parker, and J. Pouwer. Members of Victoria University’s Anthropology Department take issue with aspects of K. Haira’s article "Māori Students: A Plea to Break the Tradition", in the December 1967 issue of Te Kaunihera Māori, in which Haira challenges the propensity for Māori students to be directed into Anthropology and Māori Studies papers.
- "Some Food for Thought on Waitangi Day." Te Kaunihera Māori: New Zealand Māori Council Journal 3.1 (1968): 3-9.
- An address given at the New Zealand Founders’ Society Dinner on 8 Feb, 1968, in which Dewes presents a background to the signing of the Treaty and the Māori and Pakeha responses to the Treaty. Dewes challenges the Founders’ Society on their role in recognising the Treaty, supporting the rights of tangata whenua, and encouraging the teaching of te reo Māori.
- "View Point: The Pakeha Veto." Te Māori: The Official Journal of the New Zealand Māori Council 1.6 (1970): 5.
- This is the text of a lecture presented to the Victoria University Students’ Association on 9 June, 1970. Dewes discusses the multi-cultural and multi-lingual nature of New Zealand society, which he contends can be overpowered by the powerful veto of the Pakeha English-speaking majority. Dewes writes that "the voracious appetite of the [dominant culture] has made many Māori cultural refugees with neither language nor culture, it has left many Māori virtually landless, it does not quite sensitively acknowledge [Māori]contribution and [Māori] development of this nation."
- "He Tangi Mo Pine Tamahori." Te Māori: The Official Journal of the New Zealand Māori Council 1.5 (1970): 47-48.
- "Tomo Mai: He Powhiri, he Tangi. Na Henare Waitoa O Ngāti Porou." Te Māori: The Official Journal of the New Zealand Māori Council 1.5 (1970): 44.
- Part of an article which is published in full in Te Māori: The Official Journal of the New Zealand Māori Council 1.6 (1970): 34-35.
- "Tomo Mai: He Powhiri, he Tangi. Na Henare Waitoa O Ngāti Porou." Te Māori: The Official Journal of the New Zealand Māori Council 1.6 (1970): 34-35.
- "Karanga Mai: He Waiata Manaaki Na Henare Waitoa o Ngāti Porou. Te Māori: The Official Journal of the New Zealand Māori Council 2.2 (1971): 1.
- Dewes provides the Māori text and explanatory notes of a waiata by Henare Waitoa of Ngāti Porou. In a concluding note translated into English Dewes writes that this action song was "performed by the Ngāti Putaanga group during World War Two and the war effort on the home front." Dewes adds that "Sir Apirana Ngata was so inspired that he composed the second and third verses."
- "The Place of Māori Language in the Education of Māoris." Te Kaunihera Māori: New Zealand Māori Council Journal Spring issue (1968): 51-61. Te Reo Māori: A Historical Survey Of Māori Language; A Research Exercise For MAOR 302, Department of Anthropology, 1972. Terangi Nikora. [Wellington, N.Z.]: Victoria University of Wellington, N.Z., 1973. Appendix A. 51-61.
- A strongly worded assessment of the teaching of Māori language in New Zealand since European settlement and a detailed analysis of the scope of teaching in 1967. Dewes concludes with seven recommendations to improve the current state of Māori language teaching. This is the amended text of an address delivered at the 40th ANZAAS Congress, Christchurch, N.Z., January 1968. The address was given as part of the section entitled "Educational Needs and Problems of the Māori Community" in the symposium on "Economic and Cultural Change in the South West Pacific."
- "The Case for Oral Arts." Te Ao Hurihuri: The World Moves On: Aspects of Māoritanga. Ed. Michael King. Wellington, N.Z.: Hicks Smith & Sons, 1975. 55-85.
- A comprehensive essay on many aspects of Māori culture and a broad account of issues facing the teaching and promulgation of the Māori oral arts at school and university level.
- Māori Literature: He Tauparapara Mo Te Kawa o Te Whai Kōrero: Poetry That Is Recited And Chanted. Ed. Te Kapunga Dewes. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Anthropology, Victoria U of Wellington, N.Z., [197?]
- The accompanying notes and texts in Māori of "a series of ten tauparapara recorded on tape by Koro Dewes in Auckland, N.Z. in 1963. The tauparapara are rendered by Colonel Arapeta Awatere. A copy of the tape is lodged in the tape library of the Victoria University of Wellington Language Laboratory."
- "Māori Society and Culture: A List of Publications." Te Ao Hou 54 (1966): 51-53.
- This "selective list, with the major emphasis on modern Māori society and culture" catalogues books and articles under three broad headings: "The Māori Before Cook", "The Years Between", and "The Māori Today". Under the latter title, further sub-headings include "Population and Socio-Economic Status"; "Health; Social Organisation and Culture"; "Culture and Personality"; "Religion"; "Māori-Pakeha Relations"; "Māori Literature"; "Fiction About Māoris"; and "Language Study".
- Waitangi Day 1968 - Some Food For Thought. [Wellington, N.Z.?, N.Z.: n.p, 1968]
- A shortened and amended version of Dewes’ address to the N.Z. Founders’ Society on 8 Feb 1968. It was originally published in Te Kaunihera Māori 3.1 (1968), in N.Z. Founders Bulletin 16.2 41 (1968) and in Comment 35 (1968). See annotation in non-fiction articles above.
- The Place Of Māori Language In The Education Of Māoris. [Wellington, N.Z.: New Zealand Māori Council, 1968]
- In this overview of the study of Māori language, society and culture at schools and universities, Dewes provides a brief historical review of the teaching of Māori in New Zealand since 1840s. He also discusses pass rates of school certificate amongst Māori and the number of students studying Māori in 1967. He lists six points supporting the teaching of Māori language and its merits to Māori and Pakeha students. He examines attitudes of students, parents and school principals towards Māori language learning. He notes the impact of Māori language teaching on schools and discusses issues surrounding the availability of teachers and textbooks. The full text of Dewes’ speech at the 40th Anzaas Congress was held in Christchurch in January 1968. See annotation of reprinting of this article with the same title published in Te Kaunihera Māori. The publication includes a Reading List.
- Ngata, Apirana. "The Election Policy Of Apirana Ngata: Kauwhau A Mema. Me Aha Te Taura Here Mo Nga Morehu Whenua?/What Policy Should Be Carried Out With The Remnants Of Māori Land?" Trans. N.P.K. Puriri and K. Dewes. Te Kaunihera Māori: New Zealand Māori Council Journal 3.1 (1968): 19-21.
- Apirana Ngata’s 1905 General Election manifesto when he ousted sitting member Wi Pere.
- Te Kawa o te Marae. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Anthropology, Victoria U, n.d. [1969?]
- Co-authors Arapeta Awatere and Koro Dewes.
This Māori language text written for the Department of Anthropology is composed of various lessons on topics including the canoe districts, the marae, tangi, marae protocol and Apirana Ngata’s essay “Māori Posture Dancing.”
- Māori Language: Literature - Bibliographies. Ed. Koro Dewes. [Wellington, N.Z.]: Department of Anthropology, Victoria U of Wellington, 1970.
- A collection of bibliographies by students at Victoria University and edited by Koro Dewes. The bibliographies list references to Māori mythology, stories of the Rangitane iwi, migrations of the Kurahaupo and Tainui waka, and bibliographic references to famous Māori from the Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa, Te Ati Awa tribal areas.
- Māori Literature: He Haka Taparahi: Ceremonial Dance-Poetry. Na Te Hāmana Mahuika OBE, Arnold Reedy OBE, Rev Tipi Kaa, Māru Karaka, Moni Taumaunu, Sir Apirana Ngata. Etita: Te Kapunga Dewes. [Wellington, N.Z.]: Department of Anthropology, Victoria U of Wellington, N.Z., .
- A collection of traditional haka by different composers with notes in Māori with some explanations and haka translated into English.
- Māori Literature: Song-Poetry (Waitoa). 1972. No details.
- Nga Moteatea (Parts I & II, Introductions). Ed. Kapunga M. Dewes. 1972.
- Māori Literature: Selections of Oral & Written Prose: Reprints: Te Aohuruhuru, Wairangi, Te Ponga raua ko Puhihuia, Tutae-Poroporo, Māhinārangi, Hinepoupou and Te Oriparoa. [Ed. Kapunga M. Dewes.] [Wellington, N.Z.]: Department of Anthropology, Victoria U of Wellington, NZ [1974.]
- A selection of traditional Māori accounts about Te Aohuruhuru, Wairangi, Te Ponga raua ko Puhihuia, Tutae-Poroporo, Māhinārangi, Hinepoupou and Te Oriparoa which have been published in Māori with English translations in John White’s Ancient History of the Māori (1889), Te Wananga, Sir George Grey’s Nga Mahi a nga Tupuna, Journal of the Polynesian Society, and Te Ao Hou.
- Māori Literature: A Tentative Framework For Study. No details.
- Dewes writes that he presented this paper at the end of the inter-university conference of lecturers in Māori studies and Māori language held at Auckland University. The conference was convened by Prof Bruce Biggs in July 1974.
- Rev. of He Whakarapopototanga. No. 11. Te Wharekura, by Katarina Mataira and Meri Penfold. Te Ao Hou 59 (1967): 60.
- Rev. of Te Ropu O Te Rangatahi O Te Rau Tau Ki Muri. No. 12. Te Wharekura, nā Wiremu Ngata. Te Ao Hou 59 (1967): 60-61.
- Rev. of The Changing Role of the Leader in Māori Society: A Study In Social Change And Race Relations, by Maharaia Winiata. Te Ao Hou 60 (1967): 57-58.
- Rev. of Māori Folk Tales, by Margaret Orbell. Te Ao Hou 66 (1969): 52-53.
- Rev. of Nga Toa Maunga/ The Warrior Mountains, by Katarina Mataira. NZ Listener 29 Sept. 1984: 49.
- Co-authors C. Dewes and K. Dewes.
- Ngaa Waiata Haka a Heenare Waitoa o Ngaati Porou. (Modern Dance-poetry by Heenare Waitoa of Ngaati Porou.) Te Kapunga Matemoana Dewes. Diss. U of Auckland, N.Z. Aakuhata, 1972.
- A Master of Arts thesis written for the Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland, N.Z. Māori language text.
- Nga Waiata Haka a Henare Waitoa o Ngāti Porou. First printing, Dept. of Anthropology and Māori Studies, Massey University; second printing, Dept. of Anthropology and Māori, Victoria University, 1974.
- Anthology of Henare Waitoa’s waiata haka (dance-poems) - the first Master of Arts thesis to have been written in Māori (1972) which Massey University published in 1974. [Ref: "The Case for Oral Arts." Te Ao Hurihuri: The World Moves On: Aspects of Māoritanga. Ed. Michael King. Wellington, N.Z.: Hicks Smith & Sons, 1975. 68.
- "He Poroporoaki Mo Arnold Reedy, M.B.E." Na Eruera Kawhia Whakatane Stirling o Te Whanau-a-Apanui, o Ngāti Porou, o Ngāi Tahu, o nga iwi o te Motu. Etita: Te Kapunga Dewes. Te Māori: The Official Journal of the New Zealand Māori Council 2.4 (1971): 12-13.
- "People and Places." Te Ao Hou 54 (1966): 26-29.
- Brief report on Dewes’ appointment as a lecturer in Māori at Victoria University, Wellington in 1966.
- Ihaka, James. "Māori Language Pioneer Dies At 80." http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10667175 19 Aug. 2010.
- "Historian ‘Koro’ Dewes Dies Age 80." http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4037149/Historian-Koro-Dewes-dies-age-80 19 Aug. 2010.
- "Sharples: Poroporoaki Ki Te Kapunga Matemoana Dewes." http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/sharples-poroporoaki-ki-te-kapunga-matemoana-dewes/5/59151 19 Aug. 2010.
- Taylor, C. R. H. A Bibliography of Publications on the New Zealand Māori and the Moriori of the Chatham Islands. Oxford: Clarendon Press, Oxford UP, 1972. 1, 44, 50, 66.