Sir Tīmoti Samuel Kāretu is a New Zealand academic of Māori language and performing arts. He served as the inaugural head of the Department of Māori at the University of Waikato, and rose to the rank of professor. He was the first Māori language commissioner, between 1987 and 1999, and then was executive director of Te Kohanga Reo National Trust from 1993 until 2003. In 2003, he was closely involved in the foundation of Te Panekiretanga o te Reo, the Institute of Excellence in Māori Language, and served as its executive director. He was conferred honorary doctorates by Victoria University of Wellington in 2003, and the University of Waikato in 2008. In 2020 he was honored with the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in the non-fiction category and was elected a Companion of Royal Society Te Apārangi.
Kāretu won the 2021 Te Mūrau o te Tuhi Māori Language Award at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. He had been joint winner of the same award two years earlier.