He was born at Matakana Island, Tauranga, and was educated in primary and secondary schools in Ōpōtiki. He became a Christian in his twenties and spent most of his life involved in evangelism. From 1963-64 he studied at the Bible College of New Zealand and graduated with a diploma. He was a qualified joiner and builder and lived for many years in Fairlie with his wife Eunice and their three sons. He was a travelling evangelist and was part of the pastoral team of his local church in Fairlie.
- Correspondence with Eunice Tawhiao in March 1998 and September 2004.
- Tawhiao, Norman Te Ata. "Through Māori Eyes." Shaker 3.25 (1985): 14.
- "Through Māori Eyes." Shaker 3.25 (1985): 11-14.
- Tawhiao writes of those aspects in the Māori culture which give Māori ‘an advantage when it comes to following Jesus Christ’ such as Māori emphasis on sharing possessions, the extended family, the importance of aroha, and respect for eldership and authority. In the second part of this article Tawhiao writes of the ways Māori respond to worship and the presentation of the Gospel.
- "Māori Spirituality in a Christian Context." One Faith, Two Peoples: Communicating Across Cultures Within The Church. Lloyd Martin. Paraparaumu Beach, N.Z.: Salt, 1991. 53-67.
- Martin interviews four Māori church leaders, Hone Maxwell, Monte Ohia, Norman Tawhiao and Hapai Winiata, on their views concerning Māori identity and the Christian faith.