She was born in Lower Hutt, and is a descendant of Rira Porutu, chief of Pipitea Pa in Wellington in the 1840s. She was educated at Wellington High School. She married Pirimi Perarika Tahiwi in 1943. She is a past executive member of the National Council of Women, South East Asian Pan Pacific Women’s Association. She was the first dominion vice-president of the Māori Women’s Welfare League. She is a past national executive member of the YWCA. She was a liaison officer for Māori War Effort in 1940s. She received the MBE in 1954 in recognition of her services during the war. She accompanied her husband on the pilgrimage to Gallipoli with other ANZAC veterans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original landing.
- Te Ao Hou 51 (1965): 31.
- New Zealand Who’s Who Aotearoa. Vol. 1. Ed. Alister Taylor. Auckland, N.Z.: New Zealand Who’s Who Aotearoa, 1992: 280.
- "Ruhia Porutu." The Book of New Zealand Women - Ko Kui Ma Te Kaupapa. Ed. Charlotte Macdonald, Merimeri Penfold and Bridget Williams. Wellington, N.Z.: Bridget Williams, 1991: 533-536.
- Co-authored with Cushla Parekowhai.
- "People and Places." Te Ao Hou 51 (1965): 28-31.
- A brief biography of Tahiwi and her husband Captain Pirimi Tahiwi who returned to Gallipoli in the mid-1960s with other ANZAC veterans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original landing.