Tonore, Airini

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
You may use the stars on the left to rate and leave feedback for the current article. No registration is required. Waiting for 5 votes 0.0 of 5 stars (0 votes) — Thanks for your vote

Please fill out the following optional information before submitting your rating:

Tonore was born to a high-ranking family in Puketapu, near Napier. Her father died after being wounded in a battle with the forces of chief Te Kooti in 1868, and aged about 13, Airini was sent to live as a tamaiti whangai with her mother's uncle, chief Renata Kawepo, in Omahu.

In 1877 she married the Irish immigrant and estate manager, George Prior Donnelly. The were a well-to-do family and Tonore (the Maori form of Donnelly) was presented to the Queen in 1904 while on a tour of Europe.

During her childhood she became an expert in tribal genealogy and the court procedures and legislation dealing with Maori land, especially the punitive and mostly illegal confiscations and imposed leaseholds by the government following the mid-century Maori Wars. For over 30 years she spent a great deal of time successfully involved in litigation for herself (she inherited part-ownership of a number of tracts) and on behalf of her tribe.


The Book of New Zealand Women = Ko Kui ma te Kaupapa, edited by Charlotte Macdonald, Merimeri Penfold and Bridget Williams. (Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 1991)


Polynesian, Melanesian
19th Century
20th Century
Civil Rights, Advocacy
School-age Years, Adolescence
Unmarried Mother, Single Parent (Mother or Father) Unable to Cope
Uncles and Aunts, Parents' Uncles and Aunts
Customary or Traditional Adoption, Informal and Extra-Legal Care
Parents Married (or Partnered) to Each Other
Visitor Comments (0) - Be the first to comment
Adding your comments contributes to the adoption community. Please keep all comments on topic and civil. Visitors are invited to comment and vote for or flag comments based on appropriateness and helpfulness. All comments must adhere to our commenting rules and are subject to moderation.

To see local Adoption resources, please select a location (U.S. only):

Need a Home Study?
Adoption Photolisting
Victor (TX / 8 / M)
Victor is a busy child who is very interactive and full of energy. He likes learning and making friends. Victor enjoys school and does better in a smaller classroom that... [more]
Parent Profiles
We are a loving medical doctor and lawyer childless couple who want to offer a home full of love, and a life full of opportunity to two children. We are looking forward to get to... [more]
Directory of Adoption Professionals
Find a professional
for all of your adoption needs including:

Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of

Settings Help Feedback
Template Settings
Width: 1024     1280
Choose a Location:
Choose a Theme: