Professor Sir William Temara is a recognised authority of the Māori language, Māori customary practices, and Māori performing arts. Sir William was one of three founding directors of Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo Māori, the Institute of Excellence in the Māori Language under the umbrella of Te Wananga o Aotearoa, where he taught whaikorero, karanga and tikanga Māori. He contributed to Te Wananga o Aotearoa's strategy to improve the quality of Te Reo and Tikanga Māori throughout the country. He lectures at the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato where he continues to teach and research whaikorero, karanga and tikanga.
He is a respected tohunga throughout the country and has mentored and shaped many pae korero speakers in Māori customs and protocols. He is a current member of the Waitangi Tribunal, having been appointed in 2008, and is recognised for guiding proceedings in tikanga. He has been involved with numerous inquiries, including the Te Rohe Potae Inquiry from 2012 to 2020. He is a cultural advisor for the Judges of the Māori Land Court and advised the New Zealand Defence Force on matters of tikanga. Sir William chairs the Repatriation Advisory Panel to the Ministry of Culture and Heritage administered through Te Papa Tongarewa.