Godfrey Huatahi Pohatu was born in the Lower Hutt and was educated at Rangitikei College. Marton. From 1974-76 he attended Palmerston North Teachers’ College and graduated with a Teachers’ College Diploma. He was a part-time student at Massey University from In 1977 he taught at Pukekohe Intermediate. In 1978 he gained a Trained Teacher’s Certificate. From 1978-79 he was a teacher at Yendarra Primary at Otara, Auckland. From 1980-82 he taught at Wanganui Boys’ College. In 1983 he went to Christchurch Teachers’ College on a full-time Study Award and graduated with an Endorsed Teachers’ College Diploma. In the following year he gained a Diploma in Teaching and a Certificate in Special Education. From 1983-85 he attended the University of Canterbury and graduated with a B.Ed in Māori and Education in 1985. Pohatu was a recipient of a Teacher’s Study Award in 1984. In 1985 he was a teacher at Mairehau High School and also taught Māori in evening classes at the school. He studied at the University of Otago from 1986 and obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Education) in 1987. In 1988 he was Visiting Lecturer at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and University of Hawai’i at Hilo. He began Ph.D studies in 1991 with a thesis entitled "The Development of Māori Studies (and Related Areas) at the University of Otago; Past, Present and Future." From 1985-90 he was a lecturer in Māori Studies at the University of Otago and was a pivotal figure in the founding of Te Tumu – the School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies at Otago. From 1990-1997 he was Head of the Department of Māori Studies at the University of Otago and in 1992 he was Research Scholar at the MacMillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Canterbury.
- Correspondence and phone conversation, Mar. 1993 and Aug. 1998.
- “Obituaries.” University of Otago Magazine 9 (2004): 36.
- "A Haka Taparahi & A Waiata for 1990." Otago Literary Review. Dunedin, N.Z.: O.U.S.A, 1990. 10-11.
- "Learning Māori: Places To Go, People To See." Te Karanga: Canterbury Māori Studies Association 1.1 (May 1985): n.pag.
- Pohatu lists the learning institutions in Christchurch that offer Māori language courses and gives a brief summary of the content of the courses and contact phone numbers.
- "A Note About Our Logo." Te Karanga: Canterbury Māori Studies Association 1.2 (Aug 1985): 3.
- Pohatu provides a description of the symbolism he used in designing the Canterbury Māori Studies Association logo: an open book depicting the search for knowledge, the stylised koruru underlying the Māori focus of the Association, and ‘[t]he absence of a mouth (waha) on the koruru’ to remind the Association not to claim to be ‘a mouthpiece for the Māori people.’
- "Teleconference Teaching: Teaching Māori Through Teleconference Network at Otago University." Te Karanga: Canterbury Māori Studies Association 2.1 (May 1986): 34-35.
- A report by Pohatu on a new method of transmitting the teaching of Māori language via a system called Audio Teleconference which Pohatu began in March 1986 with classes located in Cromwell, Alexandra, Balclutha, Gore, Invercargill, Oamaru and Dunedin.
- "Poroporoaki ki a Wiremu te Awaroa Nepia." Te Karanga 3.1 (May 1987): 3.
- "The Watts Report: Implications for the Māori Presence in Southern Universities - An Opinion." New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies 23.1 (1988): 75-85. Rpt. in Te Karanga: Canterbury Māori Studies Association 4.2 (Aug. 1988): 25-37.
- Pohatu gives a comprehensive assessment of various sections of a report compiled by a committee of three international educational experts and one New Zealand representative appointed by the Vice Chancellors’ Committee in 1987 to ‘assess the development of the universities over the past 25 years, their current international standing and their potential as a national resource, and to make recommendations for their future development’. Pohatu also gives an overview of the Māori presence at New Zealand universities in terms of the number of Māori graduates and academics, Māori space on campus, the availability of Māori Studies papers, and Māori representation on university councils, liaison offices and student counselling.
- "Revisiting The Notion Of Scholarship Of Māori Staff In The Modern University." Report of the Inaugural Hui of the Māori University Teachers Association. Wellington, N.Z.: n.p. 1990. 29-33.
- Four Readings on Māori University and Adult Education. Monograph 1. Dunedin, N.Z.: Dept. of Māori Studies, U of Otago, Dunedin, 1991.
- "Academic Freedom, Tangata Whenua Patronage, and Mana Māori in the Southern Universities: An Otago Māori Studies’ Perspective." ‘Beyond 1990 - where do we go from here?’: Proceedings of the Third Annual Conference of the Māori University Teachers Association, Taumutu Marae, Ellesmere, Canterbury, 1-3 February 1991/’A muri i te tau 1990- ka ahu pehea tatau?’: Te Ripoata me Nga Pepa o Te Hui-a-Tau a Te Matawhanui. Ngāti Moki Marae Taumutu, Te Waihora Te Wai Pounamu. 1-3 Pepuere/Hue Tanguru, 1991. Ed. K. L. Garden, J. N. Mane-Wheoki, and R. Parker. [Christchurch, N.Z.]: Nga Pu Kōrero, U of Canterbury/Lincoln U, Jan. 1992. 15-19.
- Pohatu explores some of the issues of the relationship and consultation between universities and tangata whenua with specific reference to the University of Otago.
- "Evaluation Paper On In-House Report On Bi-Cultural Developments At The University Of Canterbury." Nga Pu Kōrero, U of Canterbury, Mar. 1992.
- "Ko Nga Waiata Me Nga Haka." I Tito: 1988-1992. Etita: Ko Godfrey H. Pohatu. [Ed. Godfrey Pohatu]. Māori Studies Monograph No 2. Dept. of Māori Studies, U of Otago, 1992.
- Na Godfrey raua ko Toroa Pohatu. [Co-authored with Godfrey Pohatu].
- "Māori Welcome." International Conflict Resolution. Ed. Ramish Thakur. Dunedin, N.Z.: Otago UP, 1988. Boulder, CO, USA: Westview Press, 1988. xii-xiv.
- Pohatu translates into English the welcome speeches given by John Broughton, Dr Peter Matheson and Karaka Roberts during the Māori powhiri provided by Te Kapa Haka o Te Whare Wananga o Otakou at the Symposium on International Conflict Resolution held at the University of Otago from 26 October-5 November 1987.
- Rev. of Nga Tau Tohetohe, by R. Walker. Reviewed in Te Karanga. No details.
- Rev. of Whakairo: Māori Tribal Art, by David Simmons. Te Karanga: Canterbury Māori Studies Association 1.4 (Feb 1986): 33-34.
- Rev. of Seven Māori Artists, by Darcy Nicholas and Keri Kaa. Te Karanga: Canterbury Māori Studies Association 2.1 (May 1986): 38-39.
- Rev. of Na To Hoa Aroha. Ed. M. Sorrenson. Reviewed in Otago Daily Times 1986 (vol 1.); 1988 (vol. 2); and 1990 (vol. 3). No details.
- "The Development Of Māori Studies (And Related Areas) At The University Of Otago: Past, Present And Future." No details.
- Duval, Terry. "Otago Community Welcomes New Lecturer in Māori." Te Karanga: Canterbury Māori Studies Association 1.4 (Feb 1986): 29-30.
- "Ngāti Apa Developments: Key Motivators In Education." Mana Tangata: Māori Newspaper July 1992: 13.
- "Huge Increase In Māori Studies Department Numbers." Te Māori News 3.4 (Mar 1994): 13.