Wikitoria Tawhara

Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Tūpato, Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau a Apanui

1958 -

Wikitoria Tawhara was born in Rawene, Hokianga. She went to school in Ponsonby and attended Seddon Tech. After leaving school, she worked as a nurse aid and travelled north to her papakainga where she found her Māori roots. She worked for nine months in the Ponsonby Community Centre and became involved with the Bastion Point protests. She attended the Māori Artists and Writers’ Convention in Wairoa in 1974.

Biographical sources

  • Awatere, Donna. “Wiki Tawhara.” Broadsheet 75 (Dec. 1979): 24-27.


  • "Obstruction." Broadsheet 75 (Dec. 1979): 26.
  • Tawhara writes of the disparities in society which keep police focussing on street kids and those who would ‘question the status quo’, while ‘protecting/the real criminals in this/society.’
  • "He Taua." Broadsheet 75 (Dec. 1979): 26-27.
  • This poem articulates Māori outrage at the mockery of the haka by University of Auckland engineering students, and highlights the racism that Māori face in many areas of New Zealand society.
  • Awatere, Donna. "Wiki Tawhara." Broadsheet 75 (Dec. 1979): 24-27.
  • In this interview Tawhara tells how her childhood upbringing of ‘learning the Pakeha way in order to be successful’ and her resulting dislocation of Māori identity was reversed after attending the Māori Artists and Writers Convention in Wairoa in 1974. From that point she began reclaiming her Māori identity, learning te reo Māori, reconnecting with her iwi roots and getting involved in Māori activist groups. The interview includes two poems by Tawhara.
  • "Kotahitanga." Te Hikoi Ki Waitangi 1984. Otara, N.Z.: Waitangi Action Committee, Aug. 1984. 47-48.
  • Tawhara presents her thoughts on kotahitanga which she defines as the ‘process of sharing, of meeting, of working towards "whakaaro kotahi"’.