Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa Go to Te Ao Hou homepage
No. 2 (Spring 1952)
– 33 –

We greatly regret to record that shortly before we went to press the death occurred at her home at Ngaruawahia of Princess Te Puea Herangi.

Born, in 1884, the granddaughter of Tawhiao, the second Maori king, Te Puea became the outstanding chieftainess of Waikato and Maniapoto tribes and the greatest Maori woman of the last half-century.

For her outstanding leadership, and her untiring and selfless devotion to the interests of her people—even when she was in failing health and, more recently, seriously ill—she won the great admiration and respect of Maori and pakeha alike.

Te Puea identified herself particularly with the Maori King movement, and she was responsible for establishing the movement's headquarters at Ngaruawahia.

There beside the sacred spring from which Tawhiao used to drink, she gradually built Turangawaewae, which is today the finest tribal centre in New Zealand, and a fitting memorial to the departed chieftainess's foresight and industry.

Te Puea was an energetic worker, particularly in encouraging her people to develop their land resources. She also took an active part in promoting Maori arts and crafts, and hygiene. In 1937 she was awarded the C.B.E. for her contributions to the welfare of the Maori race.

Many tributes have been paid to Princess Te Puea's wonderful character and outstanding leadership; and the esteem in which she was held by Maori and pakeha was further and finally apparent from the many people who went to Ngaruawahia to pay her their last respects.

The story of the tangi and of the life of Te Puea, with photos, will be told in the next issue of Te Ao Hou.