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Tā Apirana Ngata

Tā Apirana Ngata
Tā Apirana Ngata
(1874 - 1950)  

E tipu e rea mō ngā rā o tō ao
Ko tō ringa ki ngā rākau a te Pākehā
Hei ora mō te tinana
Ko tō ngākau ki ngā tāonga a ō tïpuna Māori
Hei tikitiki mō tō māhuna Ko tō wairua ki tō atua, Nānā nei ngā mea katoa
– Tā Apirana Ngata

Grow and branch forth for the days destined to you
Your hands to the tools of the Pākehā for the welfare of your body
Your heart to the treasures of your ancestors as adornments for your brow
Your spirit to god, who made all things


Sir Apirana Ngata of Ngāti Porou was born in Te Araroa  in 1874. He attended primary school in Waiomatatini before moving on to Te Aute College. His academic ability won him a scholarship to Canterbury University College, now the University of Canterbury.

Ngata studied political science and law at Canterbury University College and, in 1893, became the first Māori graduate to complete a degree at a New Zealand university when he graduated from Canterbury with a BA in political science. In 1896, he completed his law degree at the University of Auckland and became the first in New Zealand, Māori or Pākehā, to obtain a double degree.

Ngata became a successful politician and quickly distinguished himself in Parliament alongside James Carroll and Maui Pomare. He focused his efforts on improving the social and economic conditions of Māori across the country.

Ngata was also heavily involved in the protection and advancement of Māori culture, giving particular attention to promoting the performing arts and traditional carving. One aspect of his advocacy was the construction of many new traditional meeting houses throughout the country. He also published a number of works on Māori culture, with Ngā Mōteatea, being one of his better known works. Ngata was knighted in 1927 and was the third Māori after Carroll and Pomare to receive this honour. Ngata died in Waiomatatini on 14 July 1, 1950.

More information can be found on the following link: NGATA, Sir Apirana Turupa