Te Paki Hone Te Aho Cherrington

Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Hine

1942 -

Te Paki Cherrington was born and raised in Ngararatunua, a small Māori farming area near Whangarei, the son of Hotorene Te Rangaihi Cherrington and Seini Jane Cherrington née Head. He was educated at Ngararatunua Māori Primary School and proceeded on to Whangarei Boys’ High School where he captained the athletics team, the First Fifteen Rugby team and was head prefect in 1960. In 1961 he went to Auckland University on a Secondary Teachers’ Studentship. Later he stowed away on the Castel Felice, and spent 18 months working in Morrinsville, Tokoroa and Whangarei. In 1963 he was accepted into Auckland Primary Teachers’ College and continued university studies part-time and extra-murally through Massey University. He graduated with a BA majoring in French Literature and completed MA papers. His Masters thesis, not submitted for examination, was entitled “Habit as a Debilitating Factor in Two Plays by Samuel Beckett Waiting for Godot and Krapp’s Last Tape”. Cherrington has a Diploma of Teaching and a Trained Teachers’ Certificate and has worked as a teacher and social worker. He is currently employed as a freelance actor, poet and writer.

In 1985-86 he wrote three reviews for The New Zealand Herald - Patricia Grace’s Potiki, Keith Sinclair’s History of New Zealand, and three kohanga books. He writes “I write my poetry/short stories as a record. A record of my feelings at the time.” He was finalist in 1988 for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film Ngāti. He lives in Auckland and reads his work in schools. Cherrington is an experienced actor on stage, film, television and radio who began acting at secondary school. In 1980 he was a member of Te Whanau Players which went to the South Pacific Arts Festival in Papua New Guinea. He has attended various Nga Puna Waihanga writing workshops and writes poetry, short stories and non-fiction articles.

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence from Paki Cherrington 4 Nov. 1997 and 7 Feb. 2005.
  • Interview with Lisa Cherrington in Aug. 1992.
  • Te Iwi o Aotearoa 31 (1990): 12]


  • "The Miscreant." Auckland Teachers’ College Magazine. [1964 or 1965].
  • Cherrington writes that this is a story "about a teenager who goes to one of his first ‘beer parties’, gets drunk, and wakes up in a strange bed with others, and something whacking his toes... it was his mother and her walking stick!!"
  • Hineamaru: Woman of the Many.
  • Runner up in the Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition November 10 2000.
  • Non-fiction

  • "Māori Theatre Review 1980/81." Tu Tangata 5 (1982): 30-31.
  • Cherrington describes what he terms a "resurgence of Māori theatre" in 1980 and 1981 and he discusses the work of two Māori theatre groups: Maranga Mai and Te Whanau, and two stage plays "Songs for the Judges" by Mervyn Thompson, "Hand on the Rail" by Bruce Mason, and Rowley Habib’s T.V. film "The Protesters".
  • "‘Te Ao Marama’ -A festival of Māori Art (Auckland Festival - 1982)." Tu Tangata 7 (1982): 21-23.
  • A detailed description of Te Ao Marama, a festival of Māori Art, held from 28 February - 8 April 1982, during the annual Auckland, N.Z. Festival in 1982. Cherrington discusses the art exhibition, fashion parade, Māori film festival and debate in Māori entitled "Whakawhitiwhiti Kōrero". He also notes the evening of "songs, scenes and poetry of protest" organised by the two theatre groups Maranga mai and Te Whanau, and the performance of Harry Dansey’s "Te Raukura" and Selwyn Muru’s "Get the Hell Home Boy".
  • "Taha Māori Programme Focus on Te Ihi." Tu Tangata 8 (1982): 36-37.
  • Cherrington describes a Taha Māori programme conducted in Whangarei in 1982 in which 140 high school students and teachers lived together "marae style" for a week and studied and created various elements of taha Māori. Cherrington notes that while this programme had its precursors in the 1950s with Gordon Tovey’s Northern Māori Project, Arnold Wilson pioneered this particular Taha Māori programme in 1975.
  • "Tarbuk and Watatut Emerge from Artists’ Group." Tu Tangata 9 (1983): 34-35.
  • A report of the 1982 annual Māori Artists’ and Writers’ hui held at Poho o Rawiri marae in Gisborne. Cherrington notes that a unique form of Māori humour called Tarbuk and Watatut emerged at this hui, and was later workshopped by an Auckland group.
  • "Tipney." Tu Tangata 10 (1983): 26.
  • Cherrington reminiscences back to his school days when his teachers mispronounced Māori names and lacked understanding of Māori customs.
  • "Te Waka Karaitiana." Tu Tangata 13 (1983): 9.
  • "The New Zealand Māori Artists’ & Writers’ Society: Annual Conference - 1983." Tu Tangata 13 (1983): 10-11.
  • Cherrington presents a detailed report of the 1983 annual hui of the Māori Artists’ and Writers’ Society which was held at Tukaki Marae, Te Kaha, and took as its theme "Tekau Tau Ki Te Whakatotanga i Te Rito o Te Harakeke (Ten Years to the Planting of the Flax)".
  • "Māori Art at Forum North." Tu Tangata 15 (1984): 16-17.
  • A review of a Māori Art and Craft Exhibition held at Forum North in Whangarei from August 27-September 11, 1983.
  • "50th Wedding Anniversary for Sir James and Lady Henare." Tu Tangata 15 (1984): 28-29.
  • A short description of the 50th Wedding Anniversary celebrations for Sir James and Lady Rose Henare held at Otiria Marae, Moerewa.
  • "Death of the Land." Tu Tangata 18 (1984): 30.
  • Cherrington discusses Rore Habib’s play "Death of the Land" which he directed in various performances in 1984.
  • "First Annual Conference of Maatua Whangai." Tu Tangata 20 (1984): 25-26.
  • Cherrington summarises the highlights and plenary remits of the first annual conference of Maatua Whangai which was held at Taumarunui in July 1984.
  • "From the Pulpit." Tu Tangata 21 (1984/85): 17.
  • Cherrington writes that Tabernacle Tarbuk was an invented character created by a group of people and the group named him Tarbuk. Later he decided to translate Tabernacle Tarbuk into Māori becoming Taparanaka Tapaka.
  • "A Tribute to Merata Mita." Tu Tangata 21 (1984/85): 42.
  • Cherrington writes his response to Merata Mita’s three films - Bastion Point - 507 Days; Men in Dispute, and Patu, and he argues that these films were the highlight of the 1984 Mangere Festival.
  • "Legends/History." Tu Tangata 22 (1985): 31.
  • Cherrington notes the diversity of standard that has accompanied the increase in Māori publications.
  • "Stitches." Wrapper. Ed. Michael O’Leary. Dunedin, N.Z.: Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, 1992. 21-22.
  • A cautionary tale told by a "17 stone Māori" who is caught in bed with a "beautiful lady" by a deranged man wielding a knife.
  • Other

  • Tu Tangata 24 (1985): 48.
  • Cherrington disputes various statements made by Margaret Orbell in her article entitled "He waiata tangi mo Maihi Paraone Kawiti." in Tu Tangata 23 (1985): 25-26.
  • "Acting Action." Sunday Star-Times 15 April 2001: A8.
  • "Shooting Blots the Copybook." Sunday Star-Times 6 May 2001: A6.
  • Sunday Star-Times 24 June 2001: A6.
  • "Belich History." The Press 20 Feb. 2002: 14.
  • Reviews

  • Rev. of Te Maiharoa and the Promised Land, by Buddy Mikaere. No details.
  • Cherrington writes that this review is "a personal one for the Waitaha Iwi." Photocopied typescript – publication details unknown.
  • Rev. of The Super Man, by Neil Rennie. No details.
  • Photocopied typescript.
  • Rev. of Ana and the Mauri of Tangaroa, by Waireti Rolleston. Tu Tangata 5 (1982): 29.
  • Rev. of Pohutakawa Tree, by Bruce Mason. Tu Tangata 13 (1983): 8.
  • Rev. of Te Whai O Te Taniwha - A Collection Of Poems, by Taparanaka Tapaka. Tu Tangata 21 (1984/85): 43.
  • Cherrington reviews his own yet unpublished work.
  • "Te Kohanga Spring Festival of Māori Arts (An overview)." Nga Puna Waihanga Newsletter September 1990.
  • Rev. of The Uncle’s Story, by Witi Ihimaera, and He Wai: A Song, ed. Trixie Te Arama Menzies. Tu Mai: Offering An Indigenous New Zealand perspective 19 (2000): 27-28.
  • Rev. of In The Presence Of My Foes, by Trixie Te Arama Menzies, and Skins: Contemporary Indigenous Writing, comp. Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm and Josie Douglas. Tu Mai: Offering An Indigenous New Zealand Perspective 25 (2001): 32-34.
  • "Anthology that is us – Polynesia." Rev. of Whetu Moana: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English. Ed. Albert Wendt, Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan. Tu Mai: Offering An Indigenous New Zealand Perspective 57 (2004): 12, 34.