Hakiwai, Reremoana

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Hakiwai was the fourth child born to a farming family at Manutuke. As a baby she became the tamaiti whangai of Tamati Pewhairangi of Tokomaru Bay, where she stayed until she was sent to a boarding school for Maori girls at the age of 14.

In 1913 she married Mare Nepe Apatu in an arranged marriage; they had three children. After her husband died in 1920 she became a cook for a shearing gang until she remarried in 1934; her second husband was an Anglican priest and also a widow, but he died after only a year, leaving her with a baby son. To support her family she now became a canning factory worker and farm laborer.

Although a humble woman with few resources, she became an important woman of mana among the Maori of the Hastings region. Her home was open to all; she was a founder of the Te Awapuni Women's Institute, of the Maori Women's Welfare League and of the Maori Education Foundation.


Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Also available at:


Polynesian, Melanesian
New Zealand
19th Century
20th Century
Social Services and Social Sciences
Birth or Infancy
Parents Married (or Partnered) to Each Other
Birth Sibling(s) Remained With or Returned to Birth Family
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