Hana [Jackson] Te Hemara

Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Raukawa

1940 -

Hana Te Hemara was born at Puketapu, Bell Block, and was educated at Waitara Convent. She grew up in Mangakino where her father worked on the dams at Karapiro and Mangakino. She worked as a telegraph operator in Mangakino and Wellington and in 1961 married Syd Jackson. They lived in Christchurch in 1962-63 and then moved to north to Rotorua and Auckland where Hana worked again for the tolls. In 1970 at the age of thirty she began studies in Political Studies and Anthropology at Auckland University. At the 1970 Young Māori Leaders’ Conference in Auckland, she put forward a remit that Māori should be taught in all preschools and primary schools; she made a submission to the Select Parliament Committee on reasons why Māori language should be reinstated into schools. In 1971 she ran the first Māori Language Seminar at Tokomaru Bay at Te Hono Ki Rarotonga; on 14 September 1972, the first Māori language day was celebrated. Hana was actively involved with Nga Tamatoa as one of its founding members and was also associated with the Māori cultural group Manu Taki and a Māori pre-school education group. She rejoined the Housing Corporation in 1977-78 during the occupation of Bastion Point. In 1979 she joined the Māori Affairs Department. She formed the first Māori Business and Professional Association in 1980 and organised Te Kopu Designers’ Award for Māori designers in 1984. She developed the Kakahu Fashion Project and during the Te Māori exhibitions in Wellington, Dunedin, and Auckland, she held fashion shows in conjunction with the exhibitions. Hana has written poetry and non-fiction work. Her ambition is to write the history of Nga Tamatoa. She also wants to put stories together for Kohanga Reo. She used to run writers’ workshops; she was inspired by Hone Tuwhare to do so.

Biographical sources

  • Phone interview with Te Hemara in August 1992.
  • Awatere, Donna. “Wahine Ma Kørerotia.” Broadsheet 101 (1982): 24-25.


  • "Whakairo Kākahu Māori: Hana Te Hemara." Na Roka Paora i whakamāori [Trans. Roka Paora]. Nga kōrero a Hana ki a Claudette Hauiti [told by Hana to Claudette Hauiti]. Te Tautoko 18. Wellington, N.Z.: Learning Media, Ministry of Education, 1993. 2-5.


  • "Wahine Ma Kōrerotia." Donna Awatere. Broadsheet 101 (1982): 23-27. Jackson’s part 24-25. Rpt. in Broadsheet: Twenty Years of Broadsheet Magazine. Comp. and introd. by Pat Rosier. Auckland, N.Z.: New Women’s Press, 1992. 67-75.
  • Donna Awatere talks with Hana Jackson, Eva Rickard and Titewhai Harawira. Jackson speaks of her involvement with the anti-tour movement of 1968, of being a foundational member of HART. She speaks of her push to get the Māori language taught in preschools and primary schools from her original remit at the 1970 Young Māori Leaders’ Conference to initiating the Petition for the Teaching of Māori Language in Schools that eventually got 42,000 signatures despite opposition even from some within Māoridom.
  • "Māori Women In Traditional And Modern New Zealand Society." Pacific Regional conf. International Women’s Year, 1975.
  • Copy held at the Alexander Turnbull Library.
  • Alston, Sharon. "Hana Jackson" In "Talking to Polynesian Women Part 1." Broadsheet 12 (1973): 11-12.
  • Erai, Michelle, Fuli, Everdina, Irwin, Kathie and Wilcox, Lenaire. Māori Women: An Annotated Bibliography. [Wellington, N.Z.]: Michelle Erai, Everdina Fuli, Kathie Irwin and Lenaire Wilcox, 1991. 14.