He was born at Pa-o-Kahu in Poverty Bay, the son of Hone Te Rangipatahi and Turakau. He attended William Williams’ Anglican mission school at Whakato and was baptised in 1852. He became the founder of the Ringatu faith. An extensive essay on the life of Te Kooti has been written by Judith Binney in The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography: Volume One.
- The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ed. W. H. Oliver. Vol. 1. 1769-1869. Wellington, N.Z.: Allen & Unwin
- Dept. of Internal Affairs, 1990: 462-466.
- "A ‘Hauhau’ Prayer Used In The Chatham Islands Written By Te Kooti In His Won Hand, Faithfully Translated By W. Colenso." Fiat Justitia: Being a Few Thoughts Respecting the Maori Prisoner Kereopa, Now in Napier Gaol Awaiting His Trial For Murder, Respectfully Addressed To The Considerate And Justice-Loving Settlers of Hawe’s Bay And Also To Our Rulers, In A Letter to the Editor of the "Hawke’s Bay Herald." William Colenso. Napier, N.Z.: Dinwiddie, Morrison, 1871. 23. Rpt. in Māori Is My Name: Historical Māori Writings in Translation. Ed. John Caselberg. Dunedin, N.Z.: John McIndoe, 1975. 110.
- "Te Kooti Rikirangi ‘To All Government Men’, August 1871." The Waikato War 1863-4. John Featon. Rev. ed. Auckland, N.Z.: u.p., 1923. 218. Rpt. in Māori Is My Name: Historical Māori Writings in Translation. Ed. John Caselberg. Dunedin, N.Z.: John McIndoe, 1975. 112.
- Fowler, Leo. "A New Look At Te Kooti." Te Ao Hou 21 (1957): 18-22.
- "Waiata Tohutohu." Written in Māori with English translation, notes and musical notation. Traditional Songs of the Māori. Ed. Mervyn McLean and Margaret Orbell. Wellington, N.Z.: A. H. & A. W. Reed, 1975. 37-43. Rpt. in 1990. Rpt. as "Song of Instruction" in White Feathers: An Anthology of New Zealand and Pacific Island Poetry on the Theme of Peace. Ed. Terry Locke, Peter Low and John Winslade. Christchurch, N.Z.: Hazard, 1991. 140, 178 (endnotes).
- McLean and Orbell write that Te Kooti wrote this song when visiting Tuhoe in 1883 ‘urging them not to permit their land to be surveyed’ or sold. McLean and Orbell add that this song ‘has been described as a waiata tohutohu, or song of instruction, and as a waiata matakite, or prophetic song.’
- Binney, Judith. "Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki ?-1893." The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ed. W. H. Oliver. Vol. 1. 1769-1869. Wellington, N.Z.: Allen & Unwin; Dept. of Internal Affairs, 1990: 462-466.
- "E Pa Too Reo." Pu Kaea 15 Pipiri (1993): 5. With English translation.
- Te Kooti’s waiata which he composed for Te Kohi Delamere.