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Maika is of the Ngati Waewae hapu of Ngai Tahu and has had a long association with pounamu since early childhood. In recent decades, he has been actively involved in the tribal affairs of Ngai Tahu. During the Ngai Tahu Treaty claim to the Waitangi Tribunal, he was the leading advocate and authority on Ngai Tahu history, traditions and values associated with the West Coast pounamu. As Ngai Tahu pounamu researcher, Maika undertook an inventory research programme of Ngai Tahu taonga held in major museums.

Now retired, Maika was the long-time chairman of the Mawhera Incorporation, which owns and manages the pounamu resource of the Arahura Valley, where he lives.