Nigel Maurice Cooper


1943 -

Nigel Cooper was born in Lower Hutt and educated at Muritai Primary School, Eastbourne, Hutt Valley High School, and Christchurch Boys High School. He graduated with a B.Sc in Maths and Physics, and a B.A. in History and Māori from the University of Canterbury. He is a registered teacher. Cooper worked full-time with Moral Re-Armament for 26 years and is currently working as a rental car operator. He writes non-fiction articles in a number of different fields including computers, mathematics, the church, and history. He delivered a paper at the Pacific History Conference held at the University of Canterbury in 1992 on the role of Moral Re-Armament in Bougainville. Cooper is married with two adult children and lives in Christchurch. He has written two non-fiction publications concerning his tupuna Pourewa.

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence from Nigel Cooper, 23 Oct. 1997, 1 Apr. 2004, 1 Aug. 2005 and 8 Feb. 2006.


  • "A Pakeha Searches for His Māori Ancestry." Te Karanga 4.4 (1989): 20-23.
  • Cooper writes of his family’s research to discover the tribal identity of their ancestress Pourewa. This article is developed and expanded in Cooper’s Ngāti Mahanga: A Pakeha Family Search for Their Māori Ancestry.
  • Ngāti Mahanga: A Pakeha Family Search for Their Māori Ancestry. Christchurch, N.Z.: Nigel Cooper, 1990.
  • By Nigel Cooper, a descendant of Pourewa and Charles Cosell. The first part of this publication recounts the search by Cooper’s family for their Māori ancestry and their discovery of an ancestress named Pourewa who married Charles Cosell in 1836. The second section, originally submitted as a history essay at Canterbury University in 1989, focuses on the tribal ancestor Mahanga and activities of the Ngāti Mahanga hapu from 1800.
  • "Bougainville Reconsidered: the Role of Moral Re-Armament in the Rorovana Land Crisis of 1969." The Journal of Pacific History 26.1 (1991): 57-73.
  • Cooper provides an account of the role of Moral Re-Armament in helping to bring a resolution to the volatile negotiations during the establishment of the Bougainville copper mining industry in 1969.
  • The Bougainville Land Crisis of 1969: The Role of Moral Re-Armament. Christchurch, N.Z.: Occasional Paper Number 1, Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, U of Canterbury, 1992.
  • In his Author’s Preface, Cooper gives an overview of this highly detailed account of events surrounding the Bougainville copper mining crisis of 1969. He states: "I set out the background to the Rorovana land crisis, and explore the part people connected with Moral Re-Armament played in effecting a solution to it. I do not attempt to give a complete history of the mining operation, nor to evaluate other parties’ roles in the dispute - Bougainville nationalists, Australian MPS, academics, journalists, unionists and the Catholic Church also played their parts."
  • Nga Uri o Pourewa: A Pakeha Family Discovers Its Māori Ancestry. Christchurch, N.Z.: Nigel Cooper, 2005.
  • This family history contains some 70 charts and photographic images. It was launched on 29 August 2005 at the grave-site of Pourewa on Paewhenua Island, Mangonui.
  • Papers/Presentations

  • "The Issues Involved in the Bougainville Conflict during 1988-90, the Attempts at Resolving it, and Possibilities for the Future of the Island." Paper for History 350, 1990. No details.
  • Cooper discusses the background of events in Bougainville leading up to the signing of the "Endeavour Accord" on 5 August 1990.